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B    Cornell  University 
w    Library 

The  original  of  tliis  book  is  in 
tine  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 

PS  isis-ATlezr"""  '"■"'" 

Roughing  it. 

3   1924  022  606  465 

HE  MlNtU'b  DREA.M. 

R  0  U  &  H  I  N  G 








F.  G.  GILMAN  &  CO.,  CHICAGO,  ILL.  l  W.  E.  BLISS,  TOLEDO,  OHIO. ; 




Entered  according  to  act  of  Congress,  in  year  1873,   by 

in  the  office  of  tlie  Librarian  of  Congress  at  Washington. 



Of  Califgrnia, 

An  Eoust  Uu,  a  Sesial  Comiale,  aid  a  Steadfast  TAai, 


B7  the  Author, 

Is  Uenory  of  the  Cniloni  liaa 

When  We  Two 

mas  iiiuioHAisEs  fos  rsswis- 


This  book  is  merely  a  personal  narrative.  And  not  a  pre- 
tentious history  or  a  philosophical  dissertation.  It  is  a  record 
of  several  years  of  variegated  vaga,bondizing,  and  its  object  is 
rather  to  help'  the  resting  reader  while  away  an  idle  hoiir 
than  afiBlict  him  with  metaphysics,  or  goad  him  with  science. 
Stjll,  there  is  information  in  the  volume;  information  con- 
cerning an  interesting  episode  in  the  history  of  the  Far  "West, 
about  which  no  books  have  been  written  by  persons  who  were 
on  the  ground  in  person,  and  saw  the  happenings  of  the  time 
with  their  own  eyes.  I  allude  to  the  rise,  growth  and  culmina- 
tion of  the  silver-mining  fever  in  Nevada — a  curious  episode, 
in  some  respects ;  the  only  one,  of  its  peculiar  kind,  that  has 
occurred  in  the  land ;  and  the  only  one,  indeed,  that  is  likely 
to  occur  in  it. 

Yes,  take  it  all  around,  there  is  quite  a  good  deal  of  infor- 
mation in  the  book.  I  regpet  this  very  much ;  but  really  it 
could  not  be  helped :  information  appears  to  stew  out  of  me 
naturally,  like  the  precious  ottar  of  roses  out  of  the  otter. 
Sometimes  it  has  seemed  to  me  that  I  would  give  worlds  if  I 
could  retain  my  facts ;  but  it  cannot  be.  The  more  I  calk  up 
the  sources,  and  the  tighter  I  get,  the  more  I  leak  wisdom. 
Therefore,  I  can  only  claim  indulgence  at  the  hands  of  the 
reader,  not  justification. 













TBI  MnrEBS'  Cbsau  (TVi,i.  Page,)  JUice  Page FROKnapiKOH. 

Envious  Contbmplatioks 20 

Innoosnt  Dbsahs 81 

LioHT  Tratelinq  Obdeb 2g 

The  "Allek" g3 

Inducbmbnts  to  Fubchabb 24 

The  FACETioira  Dbitbb 25 

Fleabino  News 36 

The  Sphtsx. 27 

Meditatiom' 32 

On  Bcsinebb ,. : 33 


A  Tough  Statement 35 

TuiBD  Teip  op  tbe  Uhabbidoed  . : 38 

A  PowEBPUL  Glass 41 

An  Hbiblooh 42 

OuB  Landlobd 42 

Dignified  Bxile 43 


A  Joke  without  Cbeam , 45 

Fni-LHAN  Cab  DnnNO-SALOoN 47 

OuB  MoBNiNo  Ride 49 

Fbaikib  Dogs 60 

A  Catot* 51 

Showing  Eespect  to  Belatiteb 62 

The  ConDuCTOB 65 

T*AoarNG  A  Subobdikate 57 

Jack  and  the  Eldeblt  Filgbiu 58 

Cbossino  the  Platte 61 

I  Began  to  Fbat 63 

A  New  Depasture 63 

Suspended  Operations 65 

A  WoNDEBPUL  Lie 68 

Tail-fieoe fia 

vi  Illustrations. 

35.  Hebe  He  Comes • "H 

86.  CHAlTGISra  HOBSES •  "^ 

37.  Biding  The  Avalaitche 73 

88.  Indian  Country W 

33.  A  Peoposed  Fist  Fight 81 

40.  Fbom  Behind  the  Door 82 

41.  Slade  as  an  Executioner 84 

42.  An  Unpleasant  View 85 

43.  Unappreciated  Politeness 88 

44.  Slade  in  Court 92 

45.  A  Wife's  Lamentations 95 

46.  The  Concentrated  Inhabitant 99 

47.  The  South  Pass  (Full  Page,)  J^ixce  Page >. 100 

'   48,  The  Parted  Streams lOl 

49.  It  Spoiled  the  Melon 102 

50.  GiTEN  Over  to  the  Catote  and  the  Raten 103 

51.  "Don't  Coue  Herb" 104 

52.  "Think  I'm  a  Fool" 105 

53.  The  "  Destbotinq  Angel" 106 

54.  Effects  of  "Valley  Tan" 109 

55.  One  Crest UO 

56.  Thb  Other 110 

57.  The  Vagrant , Ill 

58.  Portrait  of  Hebeb  Kihball * 112 

59.  Portrait  oe  Bbioham  Toung 113 

60.  The  Contbactoes  befobe  the  King 116 

61.  I  WAS  Touched 117 

63.  The  Endowment,  tail-piece 118 

63.  Favorite  Wife  and  D.  4 130 

64.  Needed  Marking , 121 

65.  A  Rbmarkablb  Besemblance 124 

66.  The  Family  Bedstead 126 

67.  The  Miraculous  Compass „ 131 

68.  Three  Sides  to  a  Question 137 

69.  Result  of  High  Freights 138 

70.  A  Shriveled  Quarter 139 

71.  An  Objbct  op  Pity 140 

72.  Tail-Piece 141 

73.  Tail-Piece 145 

74.GOSHOTT  Indians  hanging  around  Stations , 147 

75.  The  Drive  fob  Life - , 143 

76.  Gbeeley's  Bidb , ' ISq 

77.  Bottling  an  Anecdote 154 

78.  Tail-Piece ^ , 155 

79  ■  Contemplation 168 

80.  The  Washoe  Zephyr , 159 

81.  The  Governor's  House , Id 

82.  Dabs  Disclosubbs , 162 

83.  Tub  Irish  Bbigadb ics 

S4.  Becbeation 164 

85,  The  Tarantula 1^ 

86.  Light  thbown  on  the  Subject IdC 

&?.  I  Steebed 1^ 

88.  Thb  Invalid j.^ 

89.  ThbBebtored 171 

Illustrations.  vii 

90.  OrBHorsB '. TO 

91.  AtBttsiitsss 174 

93.  Fight  atLaksTahoe  (Ftjll  Page,)  IHcaPage 176 

93.  "  TOtj  MIGHT  THHTK  BIM  AK  A:USB1CAX  HOBSE  ' t 179 

94.  Ukbxpeoted  Eletatioit .-..v ISO 

95.  Unitebsallt  Unsettled 181 

96.  BmisG  the  Flug 182 

97.  'Waitted  Exercise 183 

98.  BOBBOWprO  MADE  EAST 186 

99.  Fbee  Rides ; 188 


101.  Needs  Pbaying  FOB 191 

108.  Map  OF  Toll  BoADS 193 


104.  View  in  Humboldt  Mountains *....  196 

105.  Going  to  Humboldt ^ 199 

106.  Ballou's  Bedfellow 301 

107.  Fleasubssof  Camping  Out 203 

108.  The  Sbcbbt  Sbabch 205 

109.  "  Cast  TOUB  Eye  ON  that  " 207 

110.  "We've  got  IT" '. 210 

111.  Incipient  Millionaires 212 

112.  KOCKS— Tail-Piece.; 214 

113.  "DoTousEBIT?" 216 

114.  Fabewell Sweet  Kivbb '... 21S 

115.  The  Rescue... ' 219 

116.  "Mb.  Abkansas" .' 222 

117.  An  AbmedAllt 225 

118.  Cbossing  THE  Flood ^ 227 

119.  Advance  IN  A  CiBCLB 229 

120.  TheSongstee 230 

121.  The  Foxes  HAVE  Holes— Tail-Piecb 231 

122.  AFlatFailuee 233 

123.  The  Last  Match 234 

1*4  DiBCABDED  Vices 236 

125.  Flames— Tail-Pieob 237 

126.  Camping  IN  the  Snow  (FullPage,)  J^hce /tajre 238 

127.  It  was  thus  we  met , 240 

128.  .Taking  Possession 243 

139.  A  GbeaT-Effobt - ■ 244 

130.  Keaebanqing  AND  Shifting t ; 246 

131.  "We  iEFT  Lamented 249 

132.  PicTUEBOF  Tow;nsend's  Tunnel 250 

133.  QUABTZ  Mill 253 

134.  Anothee  Process  OF  Amalgamation 254 

135.  FiifeT  Quabtz  Mill  IN  Nevada 256 

136.  A  Slice  OF  Rich  Oeb 257 

137.  The  Saved  Beothbb 260 

138.  On  A  Secbet  Expedition „..  263 

189.  Lake  Mono  (FullPaob,)  liKePage 265 

140.  Batheb  Soapy 266 

141.  A  Baek  UNDBE  Full  Sail 266 

142.  A  Model  BoABDiNG  House 268 

143.  Life  AMID  Death ^1 

144.  A  Jump  FOB  Life • 373 

viii  Illustrations. 

145.  "StovkHbapgojte" -»».. 279 

146;  iNTERViEwiNQ  THE  "  WiDB  West  " 279 

147.  WoKTH  A  Million 280 

148.  Millionaires  LAYtN&  Plaks 282 

149*  Dangebously  Siok ^ 287 

160.  "Worth  Nothing - 288 

151.  The  Compromise 290 

152.  One  of  my  Failures 298 

153.  Target  Shooting 294 

154.  As  City  Editor 595 

155.  The  Entire  Market 296 

156.  A  Friend  Indeed 397 

157.  Union— Tail-Piece 298 

158.  An  Educational  Report 301 

159.  No  Paeticulab  Hurry 303 

160.  Birds  Eye  View  of  Virginia  City  AND  Mt.  Datidsok 804 

161.  ANEW  Mine « ...' 807 

162.  TeyaFew 309 

163.  Portrait  op  Mr.  Stewart 310 

164.  Selling  A  Mine , 311 

165.  Couldn't  "Wait 315 

166.  The  Great  "Flouk  Sack  "Procession  (Full  ^jl^r^)  Face  Page 317 

167.  Tail-Piece 319 

168.  A  Nabob 321 

169.  Magnificence  AND  Misery 323 

ITO.  A  Friendly  Driver 326 

171.  Astonishes  THE  Natives 327 

172.  Col.  Jack  Weakens 328 

173.  Scotty  Beiggs  AND  THE  Minister Kl 

174.  Regulating  Matters 335 

I  175.  Didn't  Shook  HIS  Mother 337 

176.  Scotty  A3  S.S-  Teacher 338 

,177.  The  Man  WHO  HAD  Killed  HIS  Dozen 340 

178.  The  Unprejudiced  JuKY 342 

179.  A  Desperado  giving  Refbrbnce 544 

180.  Satisfying  A  Foe 346 

181.  Tail-Piece ffil 

182.  Giving  Information ^3 

183.  A  Walking  Battery S55 

184.  Overhauling  his  Manifest 358 

185.  Ship— Tail-Piece ., 359 

186.  The  Heroes  and  Heroines  of  the  Stoey 361 

187.  DiSBOLUTia  Author 863 

188.  There  sat  the  Lawyer WS 

189.  Jonah  Outdone 367 

190.  dollingsb - 370 

191.  Low  Bridge :.^ 371 

laj.  Shortening  Sail 372 

193.  Lightening  Ship 3*73 

194,  The  Marvellous  Rescue STO 

IffiS.  Silver  Bricks , 377 

196.  Timber  SuppoBts 879 

197.  From  Gallery  TO  Gallbry , 389 

198.  Jim  Blaine 384 

199.  Hvbbah  FOB  Nixon S85 

Illustrations;.  13^ 

200.  MissTVaotteb .' 838 

SOI.  Waiting  for  a  Custohbb 887 

202.  "Was  to  bk  Thsbb 33S 

208.  THB  MONtTMEXT 389 

204.  WnKRK  IS  THE  Ram  ?— Tail-Pibgb 890 

205.  Chinbse  Wass  Bill 392 

306.  Imitatiok 393 

.207.  Ghinbsr  Lottbrt .* 396 

208.  Ghtxbsb  Mebchant  at  Homh— Tail  Pieob 397 

209.  An  Old  Fbiend 399 

210.  Fakbwhll  and  Accident , 408 

211.  "GllfME  A  CiGAE" 404 

212.  The  Herald  of  Glad  News 406 

213.  Flag— Tajl-Pibcb 407 

214.  A  New  England  Scene , .' .409 

215.  A  Variable  Cliuate 418 

816.  Sacramento  and  Three  Hours  Aw  at  .' 413 

217.  "  Fetch  Her  Out  " 416 

218.  "Well  if  it  aint  a  Child" 417 

219.  A  Genuine  Live  "Woman 418 

220.  The  Grace  op  a  Kangaroo 420 

221.  Dreaus  Dissipated. 421 

222.  The  *'  One  Hobse  Shat  "  Outdone 422 

223.  Hard  on  the  Innocents 428 

224.  Dry  Bones  Shaken 428 

225.  "Oh!  What  shall  I  do!" 424 

226.  "Get  out  tour  Towel  mt  Dear" 425 

227.  "We  Will  Omit  the  Benediction" 426 

228.  Slinking 429 

329.  A  Prize 431 

230.  A  Look  in  at  the  Window ^ 438 

231.  "Do  It  Strangeb  ' 4S8 

252.  The  Old  Collegiatk 436 

«33.  Steikino  a  Pocket 488 

284.  Tom  Quartz  449 

235.  An  Advantage  Taken '. 441 

236.  After  an  Excursion 442 

237.  The  Three  Captains 445 

238.  The  Old  Admiral 448 

239.  The  Deserted  Field 449 

2*0.  Williams 453 

241.  Scene  on  the  Sandwich  Islands 455 

242.  Fashionable  Attire 456 

243.  A  Btte 45t 


345.  Bating  Tamarinds 458 

246.  Looking  for  Mischief 461 

247.  A  Familt  Likeness 462 

248.  Sit  Down  to  Listen 467 

249.  "Mt  Brotheb,  Wb  Twins" 46J 

250.  Extraordinabt  Capers 470 

251.  A  Load  of  Hat i'a 

2^.  Marchtno  Theough  Georgia— Tail-Piece ^ 473 

253.  Sandwich  Island  <?irls 474 

854.  Original  Hah  Sandwich 475 

X  Illusteations. 

255.  "iKissm    Hia  pob  His  Mothik" *'* 

256.  AN  OCTSIDEn— TAiL-PiEca ^'^ 

25i.  An  Enemy's  Peayeb ^^ 

858.  Visiting  the  Uissionabies ^** 

259.  FCLL  Chitech  Deess .'. ^^ 

260.  Playino  Empiee '■ ^^ 

261.  Royalty  and  its  Satellites - ^^ 

8S2.  A  nion  Pbitate— Tail-Pieob ^^ 

263.  a  modeen  funeeal ^^  ' 

264.  Former  Funeeal  Obqies 497 

265.  AFassenobe <W 

266.  Moonlight  on  the  "Watbr 501 

267.  Going  into  the  Mountains  (FtillPage,)  FacePagi 502 

268.  Evening— Tail-Pieoe 603 

269.  The  Demented 505 

270.  Discussing  Turnips 507 

271.  Gkeelby's  Letteb 509 

272.  Kealakekua  Bay  Ain>  Cook's  Monument 5U 

273.  The  Ghostly  Buildees 51* 

274.  On  Guard 619 

275.  Breaking  the  Tabu 521 

276.  SuRP  Bathing 625 

277.  Surf  Bathing  a  Failure 526 

278.  City  op  Refuge 527 

279.  The  Queen's  Kook 529 

280.  Tail-Piece 531 

281.  The  Pil^ab  op  Fiee '. 533 

282.  The  Ceatee ..: 5^ 

283.  ^EOEE  Through 639 

284.  FiEB  Fountains 540 

285.  Lata  Stream 542 

286.  A  Tidal  Watk 543 

287.  Teip  on  the  Milky  Wat ^ 545 

288.  A  View  in  the  Iao  Valley  (Full  Page,)  FaccPagQ -. 547 

289.  Magnificent  Spoet 549 

290.  Eleven  Miles  to  See 553 

291.  Chased  by  a  Stoem 554 

392.  Leaving  "Woek .' 555 

293.  Tail-Piece 55j 

294.  OuB  Amusements 5.>i9 

295.  Seveee  Case  of  Stage  Feight 561 

296.  My  Theeb  Paequette  Allies 5gj 

297.  SAWYEE  in  the  CIBCLE 553 

298.  A  Predicament gg7 

299.  The  Best  op  the  Jokb ggg 

too.  The  End 570 



My  Brother  appointed  Secretary  of  Nevada — I  Envy  His  Prospective 
Adventures — Am  Appointed  Private  Secretary  Under  Him — My 
Contentment  Complpte — ^Packed  in  One  Hour — Dreams  and  Visions 
— On  the  Missouri  Biver — A  Bully  Boat 19 


Arrive  at  St.  Joseph — Only  Twenty-five  Pounds  Baggage  Allowed^ 
Farewell  to  Kid  Gloves  and  Dress  Coats — Armed  to  the  Teeth — 
The  "Allen" — A  Cheerful  Weapon — Persuaded  to  Buy  a  Mule — 
Schedule  of  Luxuries — We  Leave  the  "  States  " — "  Our  Coach  " 
— Mails  for  the  Indians — Between  a  Wink  and  an  Earthquake — A 
Modem  Sphynx  and  How  She  Entertained  tJs — A  Sociable  Heifer.     23 


"  The  Thoroughhrace  is  Broke  " — Mails  Delivered  Properly — Sleeping 
Under  Difficulties — A  Jackass  Rabbit  Meditating,  and  on  Business 
— A  Modern  Gulliver — Sage-brush — Overcoats  as  an  Article  of  Diet 
— Sad  Fate  of  a  Camel — Warning  to  Experimenters 30 


Making  Our  Bed — Assaults  by  the  Unabridged — At  a  Station — Our 
Driver  a  Great  and  Shining  Dignitary — Strange  Place  for  a  Front- 
yard — Accommodations — Double  Portraits  —  An  Heirloom — Our 
Worthy  Landlord — "  Fixings  and  Things  " — An  Exile — Slumgul- 
lion — A  Well  Furnished  Table — The  Landlord  Astonished — Table 
Etiquette — Wild  Mexican  Mules — Stage-coaching  and  Railroading.     37 


New  Acquaintances — The  Cayote — A  Dog's  Experiences-j-A  Disgusted 
Dog — The  Relatives  of  the  Cayote — Meals  Taken  Away  from  Home    48 


The  Division  Superintendent — The  Conductor — The  Driver — One  Hun- 
dred and  Fifty  Miles'  Drive  Without  Sleep — Teaching  a  Subor- 
dinate— Our  Old  Friend  Jack  and  a  Pilgrim — Ben  Hofliday  Com- 
pared to  Moses S4 


Overland  City — Crossing  the  Platte — Bemis's  Buffalo  Hunt — Assault 
by  a  Buffalo — ^Bemis's  Horse  Goes  Crazy— An  Impromptu  Circus 
— A  New  Departure — Bemis  Finds  Refuge  in  a  Tree— Escapes 
Finally  by  a  Wonderful  Method 60 


The  Pony  Express — Fifty  Miles  Without  Stopping — "  Here  he  Comes  " 
— Alkali  Water — Riding  an  Avalanche — Indian  Massacre 70 



Among  the  Indians — An  Unfair  Advantage — Laying  on  our  Anns — A 
Midnight  Murder— Wrath  of  Outlaws — A  Dangerous,  yet  Valuable 
Citizen {■■■■■    "^^ 


History  of  Slade — A  Proposed  Fist-fight — Encounter  with  Jules — 
Paradise  of  Outlaws— Slade  as  Superintendent — As  Executioner — 
A  Doomed  Whisky  Seller— A  Prisoner— A  Wife's  Bravery— An 
Ancient  Enemy  Captured — Enjoying  a  Luxury — Hob-noblring  with 
Slade— Too  Polite— A  Happy  Escape 80 


Slade  in  Montana — "On  n  Spree"— In  Court — Attack  on  a  Judge — 
Arrest  by  the  Vigilantes — Turn  out  of  the  Miners — Execution  of 
Slade— Lajmentations  of  His  Wife — Was  Slade  a  Coward  ? 90 


A  Mormon  EjUigrant  Train— The  Heart  of  the  Eocky  Mountains — 
Pure  Saleratus — A  Natural  Ice-House — An  Entire  Inhabitant — In 
Sight  of  "  Eternal  Snow  " — The  South  Pass — ^The  Parting  Streams 
—An  Unreliable  Letter  Carrier — ^Meeting  of  Old  Friends — A  Spoiled 
Watermelon — Down  the  Mountain — A  Scene  of"  Desolation — Lost 
in  the  Dark— Unnecessary  Advice — U.  S.  Troops- and  Indians — Sub- 
lime Spectacle — Another  Delusion  Dispelled — Among  the  Angels. .     97 


Hormons  and  Gentiles — Exhilarating  Drink,  and  its  Effect  on  Bemis — 
Salt  Lak'e  City — A  Great  Contrast — A  Mormon  Vagrant — Talk  with 
a  Saint — A  Visit  to  the  "  King  " — ^A  Happy  Simile 108 


Mormon  Contractors — How  Mr.  Street  Astonished  Them — The  Case 
Before  Brigham  Young,  and  How  he  Disposed  of  it — Polygamy 
Viewed  from  a  New  Position : 114 


A  Gentile  Den — Polygamy  Discussed — Favorite  Wife  and  D.  4 — 
Hennery  for  Retired  Wives — Children  Need  Marking — Cost  of  a 
Gift  to  No.  6— A  Penny-whistle  Gift  and  its  Effects — Fathering  the 
Foundlings — It  Resembled  Him — The  Family  Bedstead 119 


The  Mormon  Bible — Proofs  of  its  Divinity — Plagiarism  of  its  Authors 
— Story  of  Nephi — Wonderful  Battle — Kilkenny  Cats  Outdone. . . .  127 


Three  Sides  to  all  Questions — ^Everything  "  A  Quarter  " — Shriveled  Up 
— Emigrants  and  White  Shirts  at  a  Discount — "  Forty-Niners  " — 
AJ)ove  Par — Real  Happiness 138 


Alkali  Desert — ^Romance  of  Crossing  Dispelled — Alkali  Dust— Effect  on 
the  Mules— Universal  Thanksgiving , 14S 



The  Digger  Indians  Compared  with  the  Bushmen  of  Africa — Food, 
liife  and  Characteristics — Cowardly  Attack  on  a  Stage  Coach — A 
Bra\ltDriver— The  Noble  Red  Man 146 


The  Great  American  Desert — Forty  Miles  on  Bones — Lakes  Without 
Outlets — CJreely's  Remarkable  Ride — ^Hank  Monk,  the  Renowned 
Driver — Fatal  Effects  of  "Corking"  a  Story — Bald-Headed  Anec-        j 
dote IS* 


Alkali  Dust — Desolation  and  Contemplation — Carson  City — Our  Journey 
Ended — We  are  Introduced  to  Several  Citizens — A  Strange  Rebuke 
— A  Washoe  Zephyr  at  Play— Its  Office  Hours— Governor's  Palace- 
Government  Offices— Our  French  Landlady  Bridget  O'Flannigan-^ 
Shadow  Secrets— Cause  for  a  Disturbance  at  Once — The  Irish  Bri- 

fade — ^Mrs.  O'Flannigan's  Boarders — The  Surveying  Expedition — 
Iscape  of  the  Tarantulas.. 16? 


The  Son  of  a  Nabob— Start  for  Lake  Tahoe — Splendor  of  the  Views — 
Trip  on  the  Lake — Camping  Out — Reinvigorating  Climate — Clear- 
ing a  Tract  of  Land — Securing  a  Title — Outhouse  and  Fences 168 


A  Happy  Life — Lake  Tahoe  and.its  Moods^Transparency  of  the  Waters 
— A  Catastrophe — Fire !  Fire  ! — A  Magnificent  Spectacle — Homeless 
Again — We  take  to  the  Lake — A  Storm — Return  to  Carson. .  .^ . . . .   173 


Besolve  to  Buy  a,  Horse — ^Horsemanship  in  Carson — A  Temptation — 
Advice  Given  Me  Freely — I  Buy  the  Mexican  Plug — My  JHrst  Ride 
— A  Good  Bucker — I  Loan  the  Ping — Experience  of  Borrowers — At' 
tempts  to  Sell — Expense  of  the  Experiment — A  Stranger  Taken  In.   178 


The  Mormons  in  Nevada — 'How  to  Persuade  a  Loan  from  Them — Early 
History  of  the  Territory — Silver  Mines  Discovered — The  New  Terri- 
torial Government — A  Foreign  One  and  a  Poor  One — Its  Funny 
Struggles  for  Existence — No  Credit,  no  Cash — Old  Abe  Currey  Sus- 
tains it  and  its  Officers — InstJuctions  and  Vouchers — An  Indian's 
Endorsement — Toil-Gates. 186 


The  Silver  Fever— State  of  the  Market— Silver  Bricks— Tales  Told— 
Offforthe  Humboldt  Mines 193 


Our  manner  of  going— Incidents  of  the  Trip — A  Warm  but  Too  Familiar 
a  Bedfellow^lr.  Ballon  Objects— Sunshine  amid  Clouds— Skfely 
Arrived 198 

xiv  Contents. 


Arrive  at  the  Mountains— Building  Our  Cabin— My  First  Prospecting  Tour— 
My  First  Gold  Mine— Pockets  Filled  With  Treasures— Filtering  the  New» 
to  My  Companions— The  Bubble  Pricked— All  Not  Gold  That  Glitt»s .  ^.  203 


Out  Prospecting — A  Silver  Mine  At  Last — Making  a  Fortune  With  Sledge  and 
Drill — ^A  Hard  Road  to  Travel — We  Own  inClaims-^A  Rocky  Country.  '211 


Disinterested  Friends— How  "Feet"  Were  Sold— We  Quit  Tunnelling— A  Trip 
to  Esmeralda — My  Companions — An  Indian  Prophesy — ^A  Flood; — Our 
Quarters  During  It ' 216 


The  Guests  at  "Honey  Lake  Smith's  "—"  Bully  Old  Arkansas  "—"  Our  Land- 
lord "—Determined  to  Fight — The  Landlord's  Wife — The  Bully  Con- 
quered by  Her — Another  Start— Crossing  the  Carson — ^A  Narrow  Escape 
— ^Following  Our  Own  Track — A  New  Guide — Lost  in  the  Snow 221 


Desperate  Situation — Attempts  to  Make  a  Fire — Our  Horses  leave  us — ^We 
Find  Matches — One,  Two,  Three  and  the  Last — No  Fire — Death  Seems 
Inevitable — We  Mourn  Over  Our  Evil  Lives — Discarded  Vices — We  For- 
give Each  Other — ^An  Affectionate  Farewell — The  Sleep  of  Oblivion. . .    232 


Return  of  Consciousness — Ridiculous  Developments — ^A  Station  House — Bit- 
ter Feelings — ^Fruits  of  Repentance — ^Resurrected  Vices , 238 


About  Carson — General  Buncombe — Hyde  vs.  Morgan — ^How  Hyde  Lost  His 
Ranch — The  Great  Landslide  Case — The  Trial — General  Buncombe  in 
Court — A  Wonderful  Decision — ^A  Serious  Afterthought 241 


A  New  Travelling  Companion — All  Full  and  No  Accommodations — ^How  Cap- 
tain Nye  found  Room — and  Caused  Our  Leaving  to  be  Lamented — The 
Uses  of  Tunnelling — A  Notable  Example — We  Go  into  the  "  Claim  "  Bus- 
iness and  Fail — At  the  Bottom 24S 


A  Quartz  Mill — ^Amalgamation — "  Screening  Tailings  " — First  Quartz  Mill  in 

Nevada — ^Fire  Assay — ^A  Smart  Assayer — I  stake  for  an  advance 252 


The  Whiteman  Cement  Mine — Story  of  its  Discovery — ^A  Secret  Expedition 
— A  Nocturnal  Adventure — A  Distressing  Position — ^A  Failure  and  a 
Week's  Holiday 259 


Mono  Lake — Shampooing  Made  Easy — ^Thoughtless  Act  of  Our  Dog  and  the 
Results — Lye  Water— Curiosities  of  the  Lake — ^Free  Hotel — Some  Funny 
Incidents  a  Little  Overdrawn. ., 265 

Contents.  xv 

chapter  xxxix. 

visit  to  the  Islands  in  Lake  Mono — ^Ashes  and  Desolation — Life  Amid  Death 
Our  Boat  Adrift — A  Jump  For  Life — A  Storm  On  the  Lake — A  Mass  of 
Soap  ^ds — Geological  Curiosities — A  Week  On  the  Sierras — ^A  farrow 
EscapeWrom  a  Funny  Explosion — "  Stove  Heap  Gone  " 2Y0 


The  "Wide  West"  Mine— It  is  "Interviewed"  by  Higbie— A  Blind  Lead- 
Worth  a  Million — We  are  Rich  At  Last — Plans  for  the  Future 211 


A  Rheumatic  Patient — Day  Dreams — An  Unfortunate  Stumble — I  Leave  Sud- 
denly— Another  Patient — Higbie  in  the  Cabin — Our  Balloon  Bursted — 
Worth  Nothing — Regrets  and  Explanations — Our  Third  Partner 286 


What  to  .do  Next  ?— Obstacles  I  Had  Met  With— "Jack  of  All"  Trades"- 

Mining  Again — Target  Shooting — I  Turn  City  Editor — I  Succeed  Finely  292 


My  Friend  Boggs — The  School  Report— Boggs  Pays  Me  An  Old  Debt — Virgin- 
ia City .' 299 


Flush  Times — ^Plenty  of  Stock — ^Editorial  Puffing — Stocks  Given  Me — Salting 

Mines — ^A  Tragedian  In  a  New  Role 806 


Flush  Times  Continue — Sanitary  Commission  Fund — Wild  Enthusiasm  of  the 
People — ^Would  not  wait  to  Contribute — ^The  Sanitary  Flour  Sack— It 
is  Carried  to  Gold  Hill  and  Dayton — ^Final  Reception  in  Virginia — Results 
of  the  Sale— A  Grand  Total." 313 


The  Nabobs  of  Those  Days — John  Smith  as  a  Traveler — Sudden  Wealth — A 
Sixty-Thousand-Dollar  Horse — ^A  Smart  Telegraph  Operator — ^A  Nabob 
in  New  York  City — Charters  an  Omnibus — "Walk  in,  It's  All  Free" — 
"You  Can't  Pay  a  Cent  "—"Hold  On,  Driver,  I  Weaken  "—Sociability 
of  New  Yorkers" 320 


Buck  Fanshaw's  Death — ^The  Cause  Thereof— Preparations  for  His  Burial — 
Seotty  Briggs  the  Committee  Man— He  Visits  the  Minister— Scotty  Can't 
Play  His  Hand— The  Minister  Gets  Mixed— Both  Begin  to  See— "All 
Down  Again  But  Nine"— Buck  Fanshaw  as  a  Citizen— How  To  "Shook  Your 
Mother  "—The  Funeral— Scotty  Brigga  as  a  Sunday  School  Teacher 329 


The  First  Twenty-Six  Graves  in  Nevada — The  Prominent  Men  of  the  County — 
The  Man  Who  Had  Killed  His  Dozen — Trial  by  Jury — Specimen  Jurors — 
A  Private  Grave  Yard — The  Desperadoes — Who  They  Killed — Waking  up 
the  Weary  Passenger — Satisfaction  Without  Fighting 339 

xvi  Contents, 


Fatal  Shooting  Affray— Robbery  and  Desperate  Affray— A  Specimen  City  Offi- 
cial—A Marked  Man— A  Street  Fight— Punishment  of  Crime 847 


Captain  Ned  Blakely— Bill  Nookes  Receives  Desired  Information— Killing  of 

Blakely's    Mate— A  Walking   Battery— Blakely  Secures  Nookes— Hang 

First  and  Be  Tried  Afterwards— Captain  Blakely  as  a  Chaplain— The 

I  First  Chapter  of  Genesis  Bead  at  a  Hanging— Nookes  Hung— Blakely's 

Regrets 36a 


The  Weekly  Occidental— A  Ready  Editoi^— A  Novel— A  Concentration  of  Tal- 
ent— The  Heroes  and  the  Heroines— The  Dissolute  Author  Engaged— Ex- 
traordinary Havoc  With  the  Novel— A  Highly  Romantic  Chapter— The 
Lovers  Separated— Jonah  Out-done— A  Lost  Poem— The  Aged  Filot  Man 
—Storm  On  the  Erie  Canal— DoUinger  the  Pilot  Man— Terrific  Gale- 
Danger  Increases — A  Crisis  A'.'rived--Saved  as  if  by  a  Miracle 360 


Freights  to  California — Silver  Bricks — ^Under  Ground  Mines — ^Timber  Supports 

—A  Visit  to  the  Mines— The  Caved  Mines— Total  of  Shipments  in  18&3 .   876 


Jim  Blaine  and  his  Grandfather's  Bam— Filkin's  Mistake — Old  Miss  Wagner 
and  her  GJags  Eye — Jacobs,  the  Coffin  Dealer — Waiting  for  a  Customer — 
His  Bargain  With  Old  Robbins — ^Robbins  Sues  for  Damage  and  Collects 
— ^A  New  Use  for  Missionaries — The  Effect — His  Uncle  Lem.  and  the  Use 
Providence  Made  of  Him— Sad  Fate  of  Wheeler — Devotion  of  His  Wife — 
A  Model  Monument-^What  About  the  Ram? 388 


(Siinese  in  Virginia  City— Washing  Bills— Habit  of  Imitation— Chinese  Immi- 
gration—A Visit  to  Chinatown- Messrs.  Ah  Sing,  Hong  Wo,  See  Yup,  &c.  891 


Tired  of  Virginia  City — ^An  Old  Schoolmate — ^A  Two  Tears'  Loan — Acting 
as  an  Editor — ^Almost  Receive  an  Offer — ^An  Accident — Three  Drunkea 
Anecdotes — Last  Look  at  Mt.  Di^vidson — ^A  Beautiful  Incident 398 


Off  for  San  Francisco — Western  and  Eastern  Landscapes — ^The  Hottest  place 
on  Earth — Summer  and  Winter _  _  40g 


California — Novelty  of  Seeing  a  Woman—"  Well  if  it  am't  a  Child !"— Onb 
Hundred  and  Fifty  Dollars  for  a  Kiss— Waiting  for  a  turn 414 


Life  in  San  Francisco— Worthless  Stocks — My  First  Earthquake — ^Beporto- 
rial  Instincts— Effects  of  the  Shocks — Incidents  and  Cariosities — Sabbath 
Breakers — The  Lodger  and  the  Chambermaid — ^A  Sensible  Fashion  to 
Follow — ^Effects  of  the  Earthquake  on  the  Mmisters 419 

Contents.  xvii 


Poor  Again — Slinking  as  a  Business — A  Model  Collector — Misery  lores  Com- 
pany— Comparing  Notes  for  Comfort — A  Streak  of  Luck — ^Finding  a 
Dime — Wealthy  by  Comparison — Two  Sumptuous  Dinners 428 


An  Old  Friend — ^Au  Educated  Miner — ^Pocket  Mining — Freaks  of  Fortune ...  43S 


Dick  Baker  and  his  Cat — ^Tom  Quartz's  Peculiarities — On  an  Excursion — Ap- 
pearance On  His  Return — A  Prejudiced  Cat — Empty  Pockets  and  a  Ro- 
ving Life 439 


Bound  for  the  Sandwich  Islands — ^The  Three  Captains — The  Old  Admiral — His 
Daily  Habits — His  Well  Foug'ht  Fields — An  Unexpected  Opponent — The 
Admiral  Overpowered — The  Victor  Declared  a  Hero 443 


Arrival  at  the  Islands — ^Honolulu — What  I  Saw  There — Dress  and  Habits  of 

the  Inhabitants — The  Animal  Kingdom — Fruits  and  Delightful  Effects. .  464 


An  Excursion — Captain  Phillips  and  his  Tum-Out — A  Horseback  Ride — A 
Vicious  Animal — ^Nature  and  Art — Interesting  Ruins — All  Praise  to  the 
Missionaries 489 


Interesting  Mementoes  and  Relics — An  Old  Legend  of  a  Frightful  Leap — ^An 
Appreciative  Horse — Horse  Jockeys  and  Their  Brothers — A  New  Trick 
— A  Hay  Merchant — Good  Country  for  Horse  Lovers 46fi 


A  Saturday  Afternoon — Sandwich  Island  Girls  on  a  Frolic — The  Poi  Merchant 
— Grand  Gala  Day — A  Native  Dance — Church  Membership — Cats  and 
Officials — An  Overwhelming  Discovery 4T3 


The  Legislature  of  the  Island — ^What  Its  President  Has  Seen — ^Praying  for  an 
Enemy — Women's  Rights — Romantic  Fashions — Worship  of  the  Shark — 
Desire  for  Dress — Full  Dress — Not  Paris  Style — Playing  Empire — Officials 
and  Foreign  Ambassadors — Overwhelming  Magnificence 480 


A  Royal  Funeral— Order  of  Procession— Pomp  and   Ceremony— A  Striking 

Contrast— A  Sick  Monarch— Human  Sacrifices  at  His  Death— Burial  Orgies  400 


*'  Once  more  upon  the  Waters."- A  Noisy  Passenger— Several  Silent  Ones— 

A  Moonlight  Scene — Fruits  and  Plantations 498 


xviii  Contents. 


A  Droll  Character — Mrs.  Beazely  and  Her  Son — Meditations  on  Turnips — 
A  Letter  from  Horace  Greeley — ^Au  Indignant  Rejoinder — The  Letter 
Translated  but  too  Late 502 


Kealakebua  Bay — Death  of  Captain  Cook — His  Monument — Its  Construction 
— On  Board  the  Schooner 512 


Young  Kanakas  in  New  England — A  Temple  Built  by  Ghosts — Female  Bath- 
era — I  Stood  Guard — Women  and  Whiskey — ^A  Fight  for  Religion — ^Arri- 
Talof  Missionaries 517 


Native  Canoes — Surf  Bathing — ^A  Sanctuary — ^How  Built — The  Queen's  Rock 

— Curiosities — ^Petrified  Lava 524 


Visit  to  the  Volcano — The  Crater — Pillar  of  Fire — Magnificent  Spectacle — A 

Lake  of  Fire 532 


The  North  Lake — Fountains  of  Fire — Streams  of  Burning  Lava — ^Tidal  Waves  538 


A  Reminiscence— Another  Horse  Story — ^My  Ride  with  the  Retired  Milk 
Horse — A  Picnicing  Excursion — Dead  Volcano  of  Holeakala — Compar- 
ison with  Vesuvius — ^An  Inside  View 544 


A  Curious  Character— ^A  Series  of  Stories — Sad  Fate  of  a  Liar — Evidence  of 

Insanity 661 


Return  to  San  Francisco — Ship  Amusements — ^Preparing  for  Lecturing — ^Val- 
uable Assistance  Secured — My  First  Attempt — The  Audience  Carried — 
"All's  Well  that  Ends  Well." 558 


Highwaymen — ^A  Predicament — A  Huge  Joke — Farewell  to  California — ^At 

Home  Again — Great  Changes.     Moral 664 


A. — Brief  Sketch  of  Mormon  History 872 

B, — The  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre 676 

C, — Concerning  a  Frightful  Assassination  that  was  never  Consummated  ....  680 


MT  brother  had  just  been  appointed  Secretary  of  IN'evada 
Territory  —  an  office  of  such  majesty  that  it  con- 
centrated in  itself  the  duties  and  dignities  of  Treasurer, 
Comptroller,  Secretary  of  State,  and  Acting  Grovernor  in  the 
Governor's  absence.  A  salary  of  eighteen  hundred  dollars  a 
year  and  the  title  of  "  Mr.  Secretary,"  gave  to  the  great  posi- 
tion an  air  of  wild  and  imposing  grandeur.  I  was  young  and 
ignorant,  and  I  envied  my  brother.  I  coveted  his  distinction 
and  his  financial  splendor,  but  particularly  and  especially  the 
long,  strange  journey  he  was  going  to  make,  and  the  curious 
new  world  he  was  going  to  explore.  He  was  going  to  travel ! 
I  never  had  been  away  from  home,  and  that  word  "  travel "  had 
a  seductive  charm  for  me.  Pretty  soon  he  would  be  hundreds 
and  hundreds  of  miles  away  on  the  great  plains  and  deserts, 
and  among  the  mountains  of  the  Far  West,  and  would  see  buffa- 
loes and  Indians,  and  prairie  dogs,  and  antelopes,  and  have 
all  kinds  of  adventures,  and  may  be  get  hanged  or  scalped,  and 
have  ever  such  a  fine  time,  and  write  home  and  tell  us  all 
about  it,  and  be  a  hero.  And  he  would  see  the  gold  mines 
and  the  silver  mines,  and  maybe  go  about  of  an  afternoon 
when  his  work  was  done,  and  pick  up  two  or  three  pailfuls  of 
shining  slugs,  and  nuggets  of  gold  and  silver  on  the  hillside. 
And  by  and  by  he  would  become  very  rich,  and  return  home  by 
sea,  and  be  able  to  talk  as  calmly  about  San  Francisco  and  the 
ocean,  and  "  the  isthmus  "  as  if  it  was  nothing  of  any  conse- 
quence to  have  seen  those  marvels  face  to  face.  What  I 
Buffered  in  contemplating  his  happiness,  pen  cannot  describe. 
And  so,  when  he  offered  me,  in  cold  blood,  the  sublime  posi- 
tion of  private  secretary  under  him,  it  appeared  to  me  that 



the  heavens  and  the  earth  passed  away,  and  the  firmament 
■was  rolled  together  as  a  scroll !  I  had  nothing  more  to  desire. 
My  contentment  was  complete.     At  the  end  of  an  hour  or 


two  Iwas  ready  for  the  journey.  ISTot  much  packing  up  was 
necessary,  because  we  were  going  in  the  overland  stage  from 
the  Missouri  frontier  to  Nevada,  and  passengers  were  only 
allowed  a  small  quantity  of  baggage  apiece.  There  was  no 
Pacific  railroad  in  those  fine  times  of  ten  or  twelve  years  ago — 
not  a  single  rail  of  it. 

I  only  proposed  to  stay  in  Nevada  three  months — I  had  no 
thought  of  staying  longer  than  that.  I  meant  to  see  all  I  could 
that  was  new  and  strange,  and  then  hurry  home  to  business.  1 
little  thought  that  I  would  not  see  the  end  of  that  three-month 
pleasure  excursion  for  six  or  seven  uncommonly  long  years  ! 

I  dreamed  all  night  about  Indians,  deserts,  and  silver  bars, 
and  in  due  time,  next  day,  we  took  shipping  at  the  St.  Louis 
wharf  on  board  a  steamboat  boimd  up  the  Missouri  Eiver. 



"We  were  six  days  going  from  St.  Louis  to  "  St.  Jo." — a 
trip  that  was  so  dull,  and  sleepy,  and  eventless  that  it  has  left 
no  more  impression  on  my  memory  than  if  its  duration  had 
been  six  minutes  instead  of  that  many  days.  No  record  is 
left  in  my  mind,  now,  concerning  it,  but  a  confused  jumble 
of  savage-looking  snags,  which  we  deliberately  walked  over 
with  one  wheel  or  the  other ;  and  of  reefs  which  we  butted 
and  butted,  and  then  retired  from  and  climbed  over  in  some 
softer  place ;  and  of  sand-bars  which  we  roosted  on  occasion- 
ally, and  rested,  and  then  got  out  our  crutches  and  sparred  over. 
In  fact,  the  boat  might  almost  as  well  have  gone  to  St.  Jo.  by 
land,  for  she  was  walking  most  of  the  time,  anyhow — climbing 
over  reefs  and  clambering  over  snags  patiently  and  laboriously 

-      r^ 


14  I    ^^^'^   III 



all  day  long.  The  captain  said  she  was  a  "  bully  "  boat,  and  all  she 
wanted  was  more  "  shear"  and  a  bigger  wheel.  I  thought  she 
wanted  a  pair  of  stilts,  but  I  had  the  deep  sagacity  not  to  say  so. 


THE  first  thiBg  we  did  on  that  glad  evening  that  landed 
us  at  St.  Joseph  was  to  hunt  up  the  stage-office,  and  pay 
a  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  apiece  for  tickets  per  overland 
coach  to  Oarson  City,  Nevada. 

The  next  morning,  bright  and  early,  we  took  a  hasty  break- 
fast, and  hurried  to  the  starting-place.  Then  an  inconvenience 
presented  itself  which  we  had  not  properly  appreciated  before, 
namely,  that  one  cannot  make  a  heavy  traveling  trunk  stand 
for  twenty7five  pounds  of  baggage — ^because  it  weighs  a  good 
deal  more.  But  that  was  aU  we  could  take — twenty-five 
pounds  each.  So  we  had  to  snatch  our  trunks  open,  and 
make  a  selection  in  a  good  deal  of  a  hurry.  "We  put  our 
lawful  twenty-five  poimds  apiece  all  in  one  valise,  and  shipped 
the  trunks  back  to  St.  Louis  agaia.  It  was  a  sad  parting,  for 
iiow  we  had  no  swallow-tail  coats  and  white  kid  gloves  to  wear 
at  Pawnee  receptions  in  the  Kocky  Mountaias,  and  no  stove- 
pipe hats  nor  patent-leather  boots,  nor  anything  else  necessary 
to  make  life  calm  and  peaceful.  "We  were  reduced  to  a  war- 
-^footing.  Each  of  us  put  on  a  rough,  heavy  suit  of  clothing, 
woolen  army  shirt  and  "  stogy  "  boots  included  ;  and  into  the 
valise  we  crowded  a  few  white  shirts,  some  under-clothing 
and  such  things.  My  brother,  the  Secretary,  took  along  about 
four  pounds  of  United  States  statutes  and  six  pounds  of 
Unabridged  Dictionary;  for  we  did  not  know — ^poor  inno- 
cents— ^that  such  things  could  be  bought  in  San  Francisco  on 
one  day  and  received  in  Carson  City  the  next.    I  was  armed 



to  the  teeth  with  a  pitiful  little  Smith  &  "Wesson's  seven- 
shooter,  which  carried  a  ball  like  a  homoeopathic  pill,  and  it 
took  the  whole  seven  to  make  a  dose  for  an  adult.  But  I 
thought  it  was  grand.  It  ap- 
peared to  me  to  be  a  dangerous 
weapon.  It  only  had  one  fault — 
you  could  not  hit  anything  with 
it.  One  of  our  "  conductors  " 
practiced  awhile  on  a  cow  with 
it,  and  as  long  as  she  stood  still 
and  behaved  herself  she  was  safe ; 
but  as  soon  as  she  went  to  mov- 
ing about,  and  he  got  to  shooting 
at  other  things,  she  came  to  grief. 
The  Secretary  had  a  small-sized 
Colt's  revolver  strapped  around 
him  for  protection  against  the 
Indians,  and  to  guard  against 
accidents  he  carried  it  uncapped. 
Mr.  George  Bemis  was  dismally 
formidable.  George  Berais  was  our  fellow-traveler.  "We  had 
never  seen  him  before.  He  wore  in  his  belt  an  old  original 
"Allen  "  revolver,  such  as  irreverent  people  called  a  "  pepper- 
box." Simply  drawing  the  trigger  back,  cocked  and  fired  th« 
pistol.  As  the  trigger  came  back,  the  hammer  would  begin  to 
rise  and  the  barrel  to  turn  over, 
and  presently  down  would  drop 
the  hammer,  and  away  wotdd 
speed  the  ball.  To  aim  along 
the  turning  barrel  and  hit  the 
thing  aimed  at  was  a  feat  which 
was  probably  never  done  with 
an  "AUen"  in  the  world.  But 
George's  was  a  reliable  weapon, 

nevertheless,  because,  as  one  of  the  stage-drivers  afterward 
said,  "  If  she  didn't  get  what  she  went  after,  she  would  fetch 
something  else."    And  so  she  did.    She  went  after  a  deuce  of 


THE  "AM/Blf." 



epades  nailed  against  a  tree,  once,  and  fetelied  a  mule  standing 
about  thirty  yards  to  the  left  of  it.  Bemis  did  not  want  the 
mule;  but  the  owner  came  out  with  a  double-barreled  shot- 
gun and  persuaded  him  to  buy  it,  anyhow.     It  was  a  cheerful 


weapon — the  "Allen."  Sometimes  all  its  six  barrels  would 
go  off  at  once,  and  then  there  was  no  safe  place  in  all  the 
region  round  about,  but  behind  it. 

We  took  two  or  three  blankets  for  protection  against  frosty 
weathei*  in  the  mountains.  In  the  matter  of  luxuries  we  were 
modest — we  took  none  along  but  some  pipes  and  five  pounds 
«f  smoking  tobacco.  "We  had  two  large  canteens  to  carry 
water  in,  between  stations  on  the  Plains,  and  we  also  took  vrith 
us  a  little  shot-"bag  of  silver  coin  for  daily  expenses  in  the  way 
of  breakfasts  and  dinners. 



By  eiglit  o'clock  everything  was  ready,  and  we  were  on  tlie 
otlier  side  of  the  river.  We  jumped  into  the  stage,  the  driver 
cracked  his  whip,  and  we  bowled  away  and  left  "  the  States  " 
behind  us.  It  was  a  superb  summer  morning,  and  all  the 
landscape  was  brilliant  with  sunshine.  There  was  a  freshness 
and  breeziness,  too,  and  an  exhilarating  sense  of  emancipation 
from  all  sorts  of  cares  and  responsibilities,  that  almost  made 
us  feel  that  the  years  we  had  spent  in  the  close,  hot  city,  toil- 
ing and  slaving,  had  been  wasted  and  thrown  away.  We 
were  spinning  along  through  Kansas,  and  in  the  course  of  an 
hour  and  a  half  we  were  fairly  abroad  on  the  great  Plains. 
Just  here  the  land  was  rolling — a  grand  sweep  of  regular 
elevations  and  depressions  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach — ^like 
the  stately  heave  and  swell  of  the  ocean's  bosom  after  a  storm. 
And  everywhere  were  cornfields,  accenting  with  squares  of 
deeper  green,  this  liinitless  expanse  of  grassy  land.  But 
presently  this  sea  upon  dry  gi-ound  was  to  lose  its  "rolling" 
character  and  stretch  away  for  seven  hundred  miles  as  level  as 
a  floor ! 

Our  coach  was  a  great  swinging  and  swaying  stage,  of  the 
most  sumptuous  description 
^-an  imposing  cradle  on 
wheels.  It  was  drawn  by 
six  handsome  horses,  and 
by  the  side  of  the  driver 
sat  the  "conductor,"  the 
legitimate  captain  of  the 
craft;  for  it  was  his  busi- 
ness to  take  charge  and 
care  of  the  mails,  baggage, 
express  matter,  and  passen- 
gers. We  three  were  the 
only  passengers,  this  trip. 
We  sat  on  the  back  seat, 
inside.  About  all  the  rest  of  the  coach  was  full  of  mail 
tags — for  we  had  three  days'  delayed  mails  with  us.  Almost 
touching  our  knees,  a  perpendicular  wall  of  mail  matter  rose  up 



to  the  roof.  There  was  a  great  pile  of  it  strapped  on  top  of 
the  stage,  and  both  the  fore  and  hind  boots  were  full.  "We 
had  twenty-seven   hundred  pounds  of  it  aboard,  the  driver 


said — "  a  little  for  Brigham,  and  Carson,  and  'Frisco,  but  the 
heft  of  it  for  the  Injuns,  which  is  powerful  troublesome 
'thout  they  get  plenty  of  trtick  to  read."  But  as  he  just  then 
got  up  a  fearful  con^nilsion  of  his  countenance  which  was  sug- 
gestive of  a  wink  being  swallowed  by  an  earthquake,  we 
guessed  that  his  remark  was  intended  to  be  facetious,  and  to 
mean  that  we  would  unload  the  most  of  our  mail  matter 
somewhere  on  the  Plains  and  leave  it  to  the  Indians,  or 
whosoever  wanted  it. 

"We  changed  horses  every  ten  miles,  aU  day  long,  and  fairly 
flew  over  the  hard,  level  road.     "We  jumped  out  and  stretched 
our  legs  every  time  the  coach  stopped,  and  so  the  night  found 
us  still  vivacious  and  unfatigued. 

After  supper  a  woman  got  in,  who  lived  about  fifty  miles 



further  on,  and  we  three  had  to  take  turns  at  sitting  outside 
with  the  driver  and  conductor.  Apparently  she  was  not  a 
talkative  woman.  She  would  sit  there  in  the  gathering  twi- 
light and  fasten  her  steadfast  eyes  on  a  mosquito  rooting  into 
her  arm,  and  slowly  she  would  raise  her  other  hand  till  she 
had  got  his  range,  and  then  she  would  launch  a  slap  at  him 
that  would  have  jolted  a  cow;  and  aftferthat  she  would  sit  and 
contemplate  the  corpse  vsdth  tranquil  satisfaction — for  she 
never  missed  her  m^osquito ;  she  was  a  dead  shot  at  short  range. 
She  never  removed  a  carcase,  but  left  them  there  for  bait.  I 
sat  by  this  grim  Sphynx  and  watched  her  kill  thirty  or  forty 
mosquitoes — ^watched  her,  and  waited  for  her  to  say  something, 
but  she  never  did.  So  I  finally  opened  the  conversation  my- 
self.    I  said : 

"  The  mosquitoes  are  pretty  bad,  about  here,  madam." 
*  "  You  bet !  " 

"  What  did  I  understand  you  to  say,  madam  ? " 

"Ton  bet!" 

Then  she  cheered  np,  and  faced  around  and  said : 

"  Danged  if  I  didn't  begin  to  think  you  fellers  was  deef 
and  dumb.  I  did,  b'.  gosh. 
Here  I've  sot,  and  sot,  and 
sot,  a-bust'n  muskeeters  and 
wonderin'  what  was  ailin' 
ye.  Fust  I  thot  you  was 
deef  and  dumb,  then  I  thot 
yon  was  sick  or  crazy,  or 
suthin',  and  then  by  and  by 
I  begin  to  reckon  you  was 
a  passel  of  sickly  fools  that 
couldn't  think  of  nothing 
to  say.  Wher'd  ye  come 

The  Sphynx  was  a 
Sphynx  no  more !  The  fountafns  of  her  great  deep  were 
broken  up,  and  she  rained  the  nine  parts  of  speech  forty  days 
and  forty  nights,  metaphorically  speaking,  and  buried  us  undet 



a  desolating  deluge  of  trivial  gossip  that  left  not  a  crag  or  pin- 
nacle  of  rejoinder  projecting  above  the  tossing  waste  of  dislo- 
cated grammar  and  decomposed  pronunciation ! 

How  we  suffered,  suffered,  suffered !  She  went  on,  hour 
after  hour,  till  I  was  sorry  I  ever  opened  the  mosquito  ques- 
tion and  gave  her  a  start.  She  never  did  stop  again  until  she 
got  to  her  journey's  end  toward  daylight ;  and  then  she  stirred 
us  up  as  she  was  leaving  the  stage  (for  we  were  nodding,  by 
that  time),  and  said : 

"  ISTow  you  git  out  at  Cottonwood,  you  fellers,  and  lay  over 
a  couple  o'  days,  and  I'll  be  along  some  time  to-night,  and  if 
I  can  do  ye  any  good  by  edgin'  in  a  word  now  and  then,  I'm 
right  thar.  Folks  '11  tell  you  't  I've  always  ben  kind  o'  offish 
and  partie'lar  for  a  gal  that's  raised  in  the  woods,  and  I  am,, 
with  the  rag-tag  and  bob-tail,  and  a  gal  has  to  be,  if  she  wants 
to  he  anything,  but  when  people  comes  along  which  is  my 
equals,  I  reckon  I'm  a  pretty  sociable  heifer  after  all." 

We  resolved  not  to  "  lay  by  at  Cottonwood." 


ABOUT  an  hour  and  a  half  before  daylight  we  were  bowl- 
ing along  smoothly  over  the  road — so  smoothly  that 
our  cradle  only  rocked  in  a  gentle,  lulling  way,  that  was  grad- 
ually soothing  us  to  sleep,  and  dulling  our  consciousness— 
when  something  gave  away  under  us !  We  were  dimly  aware 
of  it,  but  indifferent  to  it.  The  coach  stopped.  We  heard 
the  driver  and  conductor  talking  together  outside,  and  rum- 
maging for  a  lantern,  and  swearing  because  they  could  not 
find  it — but  we  had  no  interest  in  whatever  had  happened, 
and  it  only  added  to  our  comfort  to  think  of  those  people 
out  there  at  work  in  the  murky  night,  and  we  snug  in  our 
nest  with  the  curtains  drawn.  But  presently,  by  the  sounds, 
there  seemed  to  be  an  examination  going  on,  and  then  the 
driver's  voice  said : 

"  By  George,  the  thoroughbrace  is  broke ! " 
This  startled  me  broad  awake — as  an  undefined  sense  of 
calamity  is  always  apt  to  do.  I  said  to  myself :  "  Now,  a 
thoroughbrace  is  probably  part  of  a  horse ;  and  doubtless  a 
vital  part,  too,  from  the  dismay  in  the  driver's  voice.  Leg, 
maybe — and  yet  how  could  he  break  his  leg  waltzing  along 
such  a  road  as  this  ?  No,  it  can't  be  his  leg.  That  is  impos- 
sible, unless  he  was  reaching  for  the  driver.  Now,  what  can 
be  the  thoroughbrace  of  a  horse,  I  wonder  ?  Well,  whatever 
comes,  I  shall  not  air  my  ignorance  in  this  crowd,  anyway." 
Just  then  the  conductor's  face  appeared  at  a  lifted  curtain, 


and  his  lantern  glared  in  on  us  and  our  wall  of  mail  matter. 
He  said : 

"  G-ents,  you'll  have  to  turn  out  a  spell.  Thoroughbrace  is 

"We  climbed  out  into  a  chill  drizzle,  and  felt  ever  so  home- 
less and  dreary.  "When  I  found  that  the  thing  they  called  a 
"  thorouglibrace "  was  the  massive  combination  of  belts  and 
springs  which  the  coach  rocks  itself  in,  I  said  to  the  driver : 

"  I  never  saw  a  thoroughbrace  used  up  like  that,  before, 
that  I  can  remember.     How  did  it  happen  ? " 

""Why,  it  happened  by  trying  to  make  one  coach  carry 
three  days'  mail — that's  how  it  happened,"  said  he.  "  And 
right  here  is  the  veiy  direction  which  is  wrote  on  all  the 
newspaper-bags  which  was  to  be  put  out  for  the  Injims  for  to 
keep  'em  quiet.  It's  most  uncommon  lucky,  becuz  it's  so 
nation  dark  I  should  'a'  gone  by  unbeknowns  if  that  air 
thoroughbrace  hadn't  broke." 

I  knew  that  he  was  in  labor  with  another  of  those  winks 
of  his,  though  I  could  not  see  his  face,  because  he  was  bent 
down  at  work ;  and  wishing  him  a  safe  delivery,  I  turned  to 
and  helped  the  rest  get  out  the  mail-sacks.  It  made  a  great 
pyramid  by  the  roadside  when  it  was  all  out.  "When  they  had 
mended  the  thoroughbrace  we  filled  the  two  boots  again,  but 
put  no  mail  on  top,  and  only  half  as  much  inside  as  there  was 
before.  The  conductor  bent  all  the  seat-backs  down,  and  then 
filled  the  coach  just  half  full  of  mail-bags  from  end  to  end- 
We  objected  loudly  to  this,  for  it  left  us  no  seats.  But  the 
conductor  was  wiser  than  we,  and  said  a  bed  was  better  than 
seats,  and  moreover,  this  plan  would  protect  his  thoroughbraces. 
"We  never  wanted  any  seats  after  that.  The  lazy  bed  was  infi- 
nitely preferable.  I  had  many  an  exciting  day,  subsequently, 
lying  on  it  reading  the  statutes  and  the  dictionary,  and  won- 
dering how  the  characters  would  turn  out. 

The  conductor  said  he  would  send  back  a  guard  from  the 
next  station  to  take  charge  of  the  abandoned  mail-bags,  and 
we  drove  on. 

It  was  now  just  dawn ;  and  as  we  stretched  our  cramped 


legs  fall  length  on  tlie  mail  sacks,  and  gazed  out  through  this 
windows  across  the  wide  wastes  of  greensward  clad  in  cool, 
powdery  mist,  to  where  there  was  an  expectant  look  in  the 
eastern  horizon,  our  perfect  enjoyment  took  the  form  of  a 
tranquil  and  contented  ecstasy.  The  stage  whirled  along  at  a 
spanking  gait,  the  breeze  flapping  curtains  and  suspended 
coats  in  a  most  exhilarating  way ;  the  cradle  swayed  and  swimg 
luxuriously,  the  pattering  of  the  horses'  hoofs,  the  cracking 
of  the  driver's  whip,  and  his  "  Hi-yi !,  g'lang ! "  were  music ; 
the  spinning  ground  and  the  waltzing  trees  appeared  to  give 
us  a  mute  hurrah  as  we  went  by,  and  then  slack  up  and  look 
after  us  with  interest,  or  envy,  or  something ;  and  as  we  lay 
and  smoked  the  pipe  of  peace  and  compared  all  this  luxury 
with  the  years  of  tiresome  city  hfe  that  had  gone  before  it,  we 
felt  that  there  was  only  one  complete  and  satisfying  happiness 
in  the  world,  and  we  had  found  it. 

After  breakfast,  at,  some  station  whose  name  I  have  forgot- 
ten, we  three  climbed  up  on  the  seat  behind  the  driver,  and 
let  the  conductor  have  our  bed  for  a  nap.  And  by  and  by, 
when  the  sun  made  me  drowsy,  I  lay  down  on  my  face  on  top 
of  the  coach,  grasping  the  slender  iron  railing,  and  slept  for 
an  hour  or  more.  That  vrill  give  one  an  appreciable  idea  of 
those  matchless  roads.  Instinct  will  make  a  sleeping  man  grip 
a  fast  hold  of  the  railing  when  the  stage  jolts,  but  when  it  only 
swings  and  sways,  no  grip  is  necessary.  Overland  drivers  and 
conductors  used  to  sit  in  their  places  and  sleep  thirty  or  forty 
minutes  at  a  time,  on  good  roads,  while  spinning  along  at  the 
rate  of  eight  or  ten  miles  an  hour.  I  saw  them  do  it,  often. 
There  was  no  danger  about  it ;  a  sleeping  man  will  seize  the 
irons  in  time  when  the  coach  jolts.  These  men  were  hard 
worked,  and  it  was  not  possible  for  them  to  stay  awake  all  the 

By  and  by  we  passed  through  Marysville,  and  over  the 
Big  Blue  and  Little  Sandy ;  thence  about  a  mile,  and  entered 
Nebraska.  About  a  mile  further  on,  we  came  to  the  Big 
Sandy — one  hundred  and  eighty  miles  from  St.  Joseph. 

As  the  Sim  was  going  down,  we  saw  the  first  specimen  of 



an  animal  known  familiarly  over  two  thousand  mUes  of  moun- 
tain and  desert — from  Kansas  clear  to  the  Pacific  Ocean — as 
the  "jackass  rabbit."  He  is  well  named.  He  is  just  like  any 
other  rabbit,  except  that  he  is  from  one  third  to  twice  as  large, 
has  longer  legs  in  proportion  to  his  size,  and  has  the  most  pre- 
posterous ears  that  ever  were  mounted  on  any  creature  lut  a 
jackass.  When  he  is  sitting  quiet,  thinking  about  his  sins,  or 
is  absent-minded  or  unapprehensive  of  danger,  his  majestic 

ears  project  above  him  con- 
spicuously ;  but  the  break- 
ing of  a  twig  will  scare 
him  nearly  to  death,  and 
then  he  tilts  his  ears  back 
gently  and  starts  for  home. 
All  you  can  see,  then,  for 
the  next  minute,  is  his  long 
gray  form  stretched  out 
straight  and  "  streaking  it" 
through  the  low  sage-brush, 
head  erect,  eyes  right,  and 
ears  just  canted  a  little  to 
the  rear,  but  showing  you 
where  the  animal  is,  all  the 
time,  the  same  as  if  he  carried  a  jib.  Now  and  then  he  makes 
a  marvelous  spring  with  his  long  legs,  high  over  the  stunted 
sage-brush,  and  scores  a  leap  that  would  make  a  horse  envious. 
Presently  he  comes  down  to  a  long,  graceful  "lope,"  and 
shortly  he  mysteriously  disappears.  He  has  crouched  behind 
a  sage-bush,  and  will  sit  there  and  listen  and  tremble  imtil  you 
get  within  six  feet  of  him,  when  he  will  get  under  way  again. 
But  one  ilBst  shoot  at  this  creature  once,  if  he  wishes  to  see 
him  throw^  his  heart  into  his  heels,  and  do  the  best  he  knows 
how.  He  is  frightened  clear  through,  now,  and  he  lays  his 
long  ears  down  on  his  back,  straightens  himself  out  like  a 
yard-stick  every  spring  he  makes,  and  scatters  miles  behind 
him  with  an  easy  indifference  that  is  enchanting. 

Our  party  made  this  specimen  "hump  himself,"  as   the 





ON  Bcsnrass. 

Long  after 

conductor  said.  The  secretary  started  liim  with  a  shot  from 
the  Colt ;  I  commenced  spitting  at  him  with  my  weapon ;  and 
all  in  the  same  instant  the  old  "  Allen's  "  whole  broadside  let 
go  with  a  rat- 
tling crash,  and 
it  is  not  put- 
ting it  too 
fitrong  to  say 
that  the  rabbit 
was  frantic! 
ears,  set  up  his 
tail,  and  left  for 
San  Francisco 
at  a  speed  which 

can  only  be  described  as  a  flash  and  a  vanish ! 
he  was  out  of  sight  we  could  hear  him  whiz. 

I  do  not  remember  where  we  first  came  across 
.brush,"  but  as  I  have  been  speaking  of  it  I  may  as  well  describe 
it.     This  is  easily  done,  for  if  the  reader  can  imagine  a  gnarled 

and  venerable  live  oak-tree 
reduced  to  a  little  shrub 
two  feet  high,  with  its  rough 
bark,  its  foliage,  its  twisted 
boughs,  all  complete,  he  can 
picture  the  "sage-brush" 
exactly.  Often,  on  lazy  af- 
ternoons in  the  mountains, 
I  have  lain  on  the  ground 
with  my  face  under  a  sage- 
bush,  and  entertamed  my- 
self with  fancying  that  the 
gnats  among  its  foliage  were 
liliputian  birds,  and  that 
the  ants  marching  and  countermarching  about  its  base  were 
liliputian  flocks  and  herds,  and  myself  some  vast  loafer  from 
Brobdignag  waiting  to  catch  a  little  citizen  and  eat  him. 

It  is  an  imposing  monarch  of  the  forest  in  exquisite  minia^ 



ture,  is  the  "  sage-brush."  Its  foliage  is  a  grayish  green,  and 
gives  that  tint  to  desert  and  mountain.  It  smells  like  our  do- 
mestic sage,  and  " sage-tea"  made  from  it  tastes  like  the  sage- 
tea  which  all  boys  are  so  well  acquainted  with.  The  sage- 
brush is  a  singularly  hardy  plant,  and  grows  right  in  the  midst 
of  deep  sand,  and  among  barren  rocks,  where  nothing  else  in 
the . vegetable  world  would  try  to  grow,  except  "bunch- 
grass."  *  The  sage-bushes  grow  from  three  to  six  or  seven 
feet  apart,  all  over  the  mountains  and  deserts  of  the  Far  West, 
clear  to  the  borders  of  California.  There  is  not  a  tree  of  any 
kind  in  the  deserts,  for  hundreds  of  miles — there  is  no  vegeta- 
tion at  all  in  a  regular  desert,  except  the  sage-brush  and  its 
cousin  the  "  greasewood,"  which  is  so  much  like  the  sage- 
brush that  the  difference  amounts  to  little.  Camp-fires  and 
hot  suppers  in  the  deserts  would  be  impossible  but  for  the 
friendly  sage-brush.  Its  trunk  is  as  large  as  a  boy's  wrist  (and 
from  that  up  to  a  man's  arm),  and  its  crooked  branches  are 
half  as  large  as  its  trunk-;-all  good,  sound,  hard  wood,  very 
like  oak. 

When  a  party  camps,  the  first  thing  to  be  done  is  to  cut 
sao-e-brush ;  and  in  a  few  minutes  there  is  an  opulent  pile  of 
it  ready  for  use.  A  hole  a  foot  wide,  two  feet  deep,  and  two 
feet  long,  is  dug,  and  sage-brush  chopped  up  and  burned  in  it 
till  it  is  fuU  to  the  brim  with  glowing  coals.  Then  the  cooking 
begins,  and  there  is  no  smoke,-  and  consequently  no  swearing. 
Such  a  fire  will  keep  all  night,  with  very  little  replenishing; 
and  it  makes  a  very  sociable  camp-fire,  and  one  around  which 
the  most  impossible  reminiscences  sound  plausible,  instructive, 
and  profoundly  entertaining. 

Sage-brush  is  very  fair  fuel,  but  as  a  vegetable  it  is  a  dis- 
tinguished failure.    Nothing  can  abide  the  taste  of  it  but  the 

* "  Bunch-grass ''  grows  on  the  bleak  mountain-sides  of  Nevada  and 
neighboring  territories,  and  offers  excellent  feed  for  stock,  even  in  the  dead 
of  winter,  wherever  the  snow  is  blown  aside  and  exposes  it ;  notwithstand- 
ing its  unpromising  home,  bunch-grass  is  a  better  and  more  nutritious  diet 
for  cattle  and  horses  than  almost  any  other  hay  or  grass  that  is  known^-eo 
etock-men  say. 

"A    NEW    ARTICLE    OF    DIET. 


jackass  and  his  illegitimate  child  the  mule.  But  their  testi- 
mony to  its  mitritiousness  is  worth  nothing,  for  they  will  eat 
pine  knots,  or  anthracite  coal,  or  brass  filings,  or  lead  pipe,  or 
old  bottles,  or  anything  that  comes  handy,  and  then  go  off 
looking  as  gi-ateful  as  if  they  had  had  oysters  for  dinner.  Mules 
and  donkeys  and  camels  have  appetites  that  anything  will 
relieve  temporarily,  but  nothing  satisfy.  In  Syria,  once,  at 
the  head-waters  of  the  Jordan,  a  camel  took  charge  of  my 
overcoat  while  the  tents  were  being  pitched,  and  examined  it 
with  a  critical  eye,  all  over,  with  as  much  interest  as  if  he  had 
an  idea  of  getting  one  made  like  it ;  and  then,  after  he  was 

~]ck  J-oggU  s.Wem.&At.  f 

done  figuring  on  it  as  an  article  of  apparel,  he  began  to  con- 
template it  as  an  article  of  diet.    He  put  his,  foot  on  it,  and 

36  "TOO    TOUGH    FOR    A    CAMEL." 

lifted  one  of  the  sleeves  out  witli  his  teeth,  and  thewed  and 
chewed  at  it,  gradually  taking  it  in,  and  all  the  while  opening 
and  closing  his  eyes  in  a  kind  of  religious  ecstasy,  as  if  he  had 
never  tasted  anything  as  good  as  an  overcoat  before,  in  his  life. 
Then  he  smacked  his  lips  once  or  twice,  and  reached  after  the 
other  sleeve.  Next  he  tried  the  velvet  collar,  and  smiled  a 
smile  of  such  contentment  that  it  was  plain  to  see  that  he 
regarded  that  as  the  daintiest  thing  about  an  overcoat.  The 
tails  went  next,  along  with  some  percussion  caps  and  cough 
candy,  and  some  fig-paste  from  Constantinople.  And  then  my 
newspaper  correspondence  dropped  out,  and  he  took  a  chance 
in  that — ^manuscript  letters  written  for  the  home  papers.  But 
he  was  treading  on  dangerous  ground,  now.  He  began  to 
come  across  solid  wisdom  in  those  documents  that  was  rather 
weighty  on  his  stomach ;  and  occasionally  he  would  take  a 
joke  that  would  shake  him  up  till  it  loosened  his  teeth  ;  it  was 
getting  to  be  perilous  times  with  him,  but  he  held  his  grip 
with  good  courage  and  hopefully,  till  at  last  he  began  to  stum- 
ble on  statements  that  not  even  a  camel  could  swallow  with 
impunity.  He  began  to  gag  and  gasp,  and  his  eyes  to  stand 
out,  and  his  forelegs  to  spread,  and  in  about  a  quarter  of  a  min- 
ute he  fell  over  as  stiff  as  a  carpenter's  work-bench,  and  died  a 
death  of  indescribable  agony.  I  went  and  pulled  the  manu- 
script out  of  his  mouth,  and  found  that  the  sensitive  creature 
had  choked  to  death  on  one  of  the  mildest  and  gentlest  state- 
ments of  fact  that  I  ever  laid  before  a  trusting  public. 

I  was  about  to  say,  when  diverted  from  my  subject,  that 
occasionally  one  finds  sage-bushes  five  or  six  feet  high,  and 
with  a  spread  of  branch  and  foliage  in  proportion,  but  two  or 
two  and  a  half  feet  is  the  usual  height. 


AS  the  sun  went  down  and  the  evening  chill  came  on,  we 
made  preparation  for  bed.  We  stirred  up  the  hard 
leather  letter-sacks,  and  the  knotty  canvas  bags  of  printed 
matter  (knotty  and  uneven  because  of  projecting  ends  and 
comers  of  magazines,  boxes  and  books).  We  stirted  them  up 
and  redisposed  them  in  such  away  as  to  make  our  bed  as  level 
as  possible.  And  we  did  improve  it,  too,  though  after  all  our 
work  it  had  an  upheaved  and  billowy  look  about  it,  like  a  little 
piece  of  a  stormy  sea.  Next  we  hunted  up  our  boots  from 
odd  nooks  among  the  mail-bags  where  they  had  settled,  and 
put  them  on.  Then  we  got  down  our  coats,  vests,  pantaloon* 
and  heavy  woolen  shirts,  from  the  arm-loops  where  they  had 
been  swinging  all  day,  and  clothed  ourselves  in  them — for, 
there  being  no  ladies  either  at  the  stations  or  in  the  coach,  and 
the  weather  being  hot,  we  had  looked  to  om*  comfort  by  strip, 
ping  to  our  underclothing,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning. 
All  things  being  now  ready,  we  stowed  the  uneasy  Dictionary 
where  it  would  lie  as  quiet  as  possible,  and  placed  the  water- 
canteens  and  pistols  where  we  could  find  them  in  the  dark. 
Then  we  smoked  a  final  pipe,  and  swapped  a  final  yarn ;  aftef 
which,  we  put  the  pipes,  tobacco  and  bag  of  coin  in  snug  holes 
and  caves  among  the  mail-bags,  and  then  fastened  down  the 
coach  curtains  all  around,  and  made  the  place  as  "  dark  as  the 
inside  of  a  cow,"  as  the  conductor  phrased  it  in  his  pictur- 
esque way.  It  was  certainly  as  dark  as  any  place  could  be- 
nothing  was  even  dimly  visible  in  it..  And  finally,  we  roUed 



ourselves  up  like  silk-worms,  each  person  in  his  own  blanket,- 
and  sank  peacefully  to  sleep. 

Whenever  the  stage  stopped  to  change  horses,  we  would 
wake  up,  and  try  to  recollect  where  we  were — and  succeed — 
and  in  a  minute  or  two  the  stage  would  be  off  again,  and  we 
likewis%,  We  began  to  get  into  country,  now,  threaded 
here  and  ftiere  with  little  streams.  These  had  high,  steep 
banks  on  each  side,  and  every  time  we  flew  down  one  bank 
and  scrambled  up  the  qther,  our  party  inside  got  mixed  some- 
what.   First  we  would  all  be  down  in  a  pile  at  the  forward 


end  of  the  stage,  nearly  in  a  sitting  posture,  and  in  a  second 
we  would  shoot  to  the  other  end,  and  stand  on  our  heads.  And 
we  would  sprawl  and  kick,  too,  and  ward  off  ends  and  corners 
of  mail-bags  that  came  lumbering  over  us  and  about  us ;  and 
as  the  dust  rose  from  the  tumult,  we  would  all  sneeze  in  chorus, 
and  the  majority  of  us  would  grumble,  and  probably  say  some 

hasty  thing,  like :   "  Take  your  elbow  out  of  my  ribs ! can't 

you  quit  crowding  ? " 

Every  time  we  avalanched  from  one  end  of  the  stage  to  the 
other,  the  Unabridged  Dictionary  would  come  too ;  and  every 

AT    THE    STATION.  39 

time  it  came  it  damaged  somebody.  One  trip  it  "  barked " 
the  Secretary's  elbow ;  the  next  trip  it  hurt  me  in  the  stomach, 
and  the  third  it  tilted  Bemis's  nose  up  till  he  could  look  down 
his  nostrils — he  said.  The  pistols  and  coin  soon  settled  to  the 
bottom,  but  the  pipes,  pipe-stems,  tobacco  and  canteens  clattered 
and  floundered  after  the  Dictionary  every  time  it  made  an  as- 
sault on  us,  and  aided  and  abetted  the  book  by  spilling  tobacco 
in  our  eyes,  and  water  down  our  backs.  .^ 

StiU,  all  things  considered,  it  was  a  very  comfortable  night. 
It  wore  gradually  away,  and  when  at  la^i  a  cold  gray  light  was 
visible  through  the  puckers  and  chinks  in  the  curtains,  we 
yawned  and  stretched  with  satisfaction,  shed  our  cocoons,  and 
felt  that  we  had  slept  as  much  as  was  necessary.  By  and  by, 
as  the  sun  rose  up  and  warmed  the  world,  we  pulled  off  our 
clothes  and  got  ready  for  breakfast.  "We  were  just  pleasantly 
in  time,  for  five  minutes  afterward  the  driver  sent  the  weird 
music  of  his  bugle  winding  over  the  grassy  solitudes,  and 
presently  we  detected  a  low  hut  or  two  in  the  distance.  Then 
the  rattling  of  the  coach,  the  clatter  of  our  six  horses'  hoofs, 
and  the  driver's  crisp  commands,  awoke  to  a  louder  and  stronger 
emphasis,  and  we  went  sweeping  down  on  the  station  at  our 
smartest  speed.  It  was  fascinating — that  old  overland  stage- 

We  jumped  out  in  undress  uniform.  The  driver  tossed  his 
gathered  reins  out  on  the  ground,  gaped  and  stretched  com- 
placently, drew  off  his  heavy  buckskin  gloves  with  great  deliber- 
ation and  insufterable  dignity — taking  not  the  slightest  notice 
of  a  dozen  solicitous  inquiries  after  his  health,  and  humbly  face- 
tious and  flattering  accostings,  and  obsequious  tenders  of  service, 
from  five  or  six  hairy  and  half-civilized  station-keepers  and 
hostlers  who  were  nimbly  unhitching  our  steeds  and  bringing 
the  fresh  team  out  of  the  stables — for  in  the  eyes  of  the  stage- 
driver  of  that  day,  station-keepers  and  hostlers  were  a  sort  of 
good  enough  low  creatures,  useful  in  their  place,  and  helping 
to  make  up  a  world,  but  not  the  kind  of  beings  which  a  person 
of  distinction  could  afford  to  concern  himself  with ;  while,  on 
the  contrary,  in  the  eyes  of  the  station-keeper  and  the  hostler, 


the  Stage-driver  was  a  hero — a  great  and  shining  dignitary, 
the  world's  favorite  son,  the  envy  of  the  people,  the  observed 
of  the  nations.  "When  they  spoke  to  him  they  received  his 
insolent  silence  meekly,  and  as  being  the  natural  and  proper 
conduct  of  so  gi-eat  a  man ;  when  he  opened  his  lips  they  all 
hung  on  his  words  with  admiration  (he  never  honored  a  par- 
ticular individual  with  a  remark,  but  addressed  it  with  abroad 
generality  to  the  horses,  the  stables,  the  surrounding  country 
and  the  human  underlings) ;  when  he  discharged  a  facetious 
insulting  personality  at  a  hostler,  that  hostler  was  happy  for 
the  day ;  when  he  uttered  his  one  jest — old  as  the  hills,  coarse, 
profane,  witless,  and  inflicted  on  the  same  audience,  in  the 
'same  language,  eveiy  time  liis  coach  drove  up  there — ^the  var- 
lets  roared,  and  slapped  their  thighs,  and  swore  it  was  the  best 
thing  they'd  ever  heard  in  all  their  lives.  And  how  they 
tiTOuld  fly  around  when  he  wanted  a  basin  of  water,  a  gourd 
of  the  same,  or  a  light  for  his  pipe ! — ^but  they  would  instantly 
insult  a  passenger -if  he  so  far  forgot  himself  as  to  crave  a 
favor  at  their  hands.  They  could  do  that  sort  of  insolence  as 
well  as  the  driver  they  copied  it  from — for,  let  it  be  borne  in 
mpid,  the  overland  driver  had  but  little  less  contempt  for  his 
passengers  than  he  had  for  his  hostlers. 

The  hostlers  and  station-keepers  treated  the  really  power- 
ful conductor  of  the  coach  merely  with  the  best  of  what  was 
their  idea  of  civility,  but  the  dri/oer  was  the  only  being  they 
bowed  down  to  and  worshipped.  How  admiringly  they 
would  gaze  up  at  him  in  his  high  seat  as  he  gloved  himself 
with  lingering  deliberation,  while  some  happy  hostler  held  the 
bunch  of  reins  aloft,  and  waited  patiently  for  him  to  take  it ! 
And  how  they  would  bombard  him  with  glorifying  ejaculations 
as  he  cracked  his  long  whip  and  went  careering  away. 

The  station  buildings  were  long,  low  huts,,  made  of  sun- 
dried,  mud-colored  bricks,  laid  up  without  mortar  {adobes,  the 
Spaniards  call  these  bricks,  and  Americans  shorten  it"  to 
^ddbies).  The  roofs,  which  had  no  slant  to  them  worth  speak- 
ing of,  were  thatched  and  then  sodded  or  covered  with  a  thick 
layer  of  earth,  and  from  this  sprung  a  pretty  rank  growth  of 


weeds  and  grass.  It  was  the  first  time  we  had  ever  seen  a 
man's  front  yard  on  top  of  his  house.  The  buildings  consisted 
of  barns,  stable-room  for  twelve  or  fifteen  horses,  and  a  hut 
for  an  eating-room  for  passengers.  This  latter  had  bunks  in 
it  for  the  station-keeper  and  a  hostler  or  two.  You  could  rest 
your  elbow  on  its  eaves,  and  you  had  to  bend  in  order  to  get 
in  at  the  door.  In  place  of  a  window  there  was  a  square  hole 
about  large'  enough  for  a  man  to  crawl  through,  but  this  had 
no  glass  in  it.  There  was  no  flooring,  but  the  ground  was 
packed  hard.  There  was  no  stove,  but  the  fire-place  served 
all  needful  purposes.  There  were  no  shelves,  nd  cupboards, 
no  closets.  In  a  comer  stood 
an  open  sack  of  flour,  and 
nestling  against  its  base  were 
a  couple  of  black  and  vener- 
able tin  coffee-pots,  a  tin  tea- 
pot, a  little  bag  of  salt,  and  a 
side  of  bacon. 

By  the  door  of  the  station- 
keeper's  den,  outside,  was  a 
tin  wash-basin,  on  the  ground. 
Near  it  was  a  pail  of  water 
and  a  piece  of  yellow  bar 
soap,  and  from  the  eaves 
hung  a  hoary  blue  woolen 
shirt,  significantly — ^but  this 
latter  was  the  station-keeper's 
private  towel,  and  only  two 
persons  in  all  the  party 
might  venture  to  use  it — ^the 
stage-driver  and  the  con- 
ductor. The  latter  would  not,  from  a  sense  of  decency ;  the 
former  would  not,  because  he  did  not  choose  to  encourage  the 
advances  of  a  station-keeper.  We  had  towels — in  the  valise; 
they  might  as  well  have  been  in  Sodom  and  Gomorrah.  We 
(and  the  conductor)  used  our  handkerchiefs,  and  the  driver  his 
pantaloons  and  sleeves.  By  the  door,  inside,  was  fastened  a 
Bmall  old-fashioned  looking-glass  frame,  with  two  little  frag- 





ments  of  the  original  mirror  lodged  down  in  one  corner  of  it. 
Thig  arrangement  afforded  a  pleasant  double-barreled  portrait 
of  you  when  you  looked  into  it,  with  one  half  of  your  head  set 
up  a  couple  of  inches  above  the  other  half.  From  the  glass 
frame  hung  the  half  of  a  comb  by  a  string — ^but  if  I  had  to 
describe  that  patriarch  or  die,  I  believe  I  would  order  some 

sample  coffins.  It  had  come 
down  from  Esau  and  Samson, 
'and  had  been  accumulating 
hair  ever  since— along  with 
certain  impurities.  In  one 
comer  of  the  room  stood  three 
or  four  rifles  and  muskets,  together  with  horns  and  pouches  of 

ammunition.  The  station-men 
wore  pantaloons  of  coarse, 
country-woven  stuff,  and  into 
the  seat  and  the  inside  of  the 
legs  were  sewed  ample  additions 
of  buckskin,  to  do  duty  in  place 
of  leggings,  when  the  man  rode 
horseback — so  the  pants  were 
half  dull  blue  and  half  yellow, 
and  unspeakably  picturesque. 
The  pants  were  stuffed  into  the 
tops  of  high  boots,  the  heels 
whereof  were  armed  with  great 
Spanish  spurns,  whose  little,  ii-on 
clogs  and  chains  jingled  with 
every  «tep.  The  man  wore  a 
huge  beard  and  mustachios,  an 
old  slouch  hat,  a  blue  woolen 
shirt,  no  suspenders,  no  vest,  no 
coat — in  a  leathern  sheath  in  his 
belt,  a  great  long  "  navy "  re- 
volver (slung  on  right  side,  hammer  to  the  front),  and  project- 
ing from  his  boot  a  horn-handled  lowie-knife.  The  furniture 
of  the  hut  was  neither  gorgeous  nor  much  in  the  way.  The 
rocking-chairs  and  sofas  were  not  present,  and  never  had  been 




but  they  were  represented  by  two  three-legged  stools,  a  pine- 
board  bench  four  feet  long,  and  two  empty  candle-boxes. 
The  table  was  a  greasy  board  on  stilts,  and  the  table-cloth  and 
napkins  had  not  come — and  they  were  not  looking  for  them, 
either.  A  battered  tin  platter,  a  knife  and  fork,  and  a  tin  pint 
(Hip,  were  at  each  man's  place,  and  the  driver  had  a  queens- 
ware  saucer  that  had  seen  better  days.  Of  course  this  duke 
sat  at  the  head  of  the  table.  There  was  one  isolated  piece  of 
table  furniture  that  bore  about  it  a  touching  air  of  grandeur 
in  misfortune.  This  was  the  caster.  It  was  German  silver, 
and  crippled  and  rusty,  but  it  was  so  preposterously  out  of 
place  there  that  it  was  suggestive  of  a  tattered  exiled  king 
among  barbarians,  and  the  majesty  of  its  native  position  com- 
pelled respect  even  in  its  degradation.  There  was  only  one 
cruet  left,  and  that  was  a  stopperless,  fly-specked,  broken- 
necked  thing,  with  two 
inches  of  vinegar  in  it,  and 
a  dozen  preserved  flies  with 
their  heels  up  and  looking 
sorry  they  had  invested 

The  station-keeper  up- 
ended a  disk  of  last  week's 
bread,  of  the  shape  and  size 
of  an  old-time  cheese,  and 
carved  some  slabs  from  it 
which  were  as  good  as  Ni- 
cholson pavement,  and  ten- 

He  sljced  off  a  piece  of  bacon  for  each  man,  but  only  the 
experienced  old  hands  made  out  to  eat  it,  for  it  was  condemned 
army  bacon  which  the  United  States  would  not  feed  to  its 
soldiers  in  the  forts,  and  the  stage  company  had  bought  it 
cheap  for  the  sustenance  of  their  passengers  and  employes. 
We  may  have  found  this  condemned  army  bacon  further  out 
on  the  plains  than  the  section  I  am  locating  it  in,  but  wej'ound 
it — ^there  is  no  gainsaying  that. 

Then  he  poured  for  us  a  beverage  which  he  called  "  Slumr 



HOW    HE    "KEPT    A    HOTEL." 

gulUon,'"  and  it  is  hard  to  think  he  was  not  inspired  when 
he  named  it.  It  reallj  pretended  to  be  tea,  but  there  was 
too  much  dish-rag,  and  sand,  and  old  bacon-rind  in  it  to  deceive 


the  intelligent  traveler.  He  had  no  sugar  and  no  milk — not 
even  a  spoon  to  stir  the  ingredients  with. 

We  could  not  eat  the  bread  or  the  meat,  nor  drink  the 
^  slumguliion."  And  when  I  looked  at  that  melancholy  vinegar- 
cruet,  I  thought  of  the  anecdote  (a  very,  very  old  one,  even 
at  that  day)  of  the  traveler  who  sat  down  to  a  table  which 
had  nothing  on  it  but  a  mackerel  and  a  pot  of  mustard.  He 
aslced  the  landlord  if  this  was  all.     The  landlord  said  : 

"  All !  Why,  thunder  and  lightning,  I  should  think  theie 
was  mackerel  enough  there  for  six." 

"  But  I  don't  like  mackerel." 

"  Oh — then  help  yourself  to  the  mustard." 

In  other  days  I  had  considered  it  a  good,  a  very  good, 
anecdote,  but  there  was  a  dismal  plausibility  about  it,  here^ 
that  took  aU  the  humor  out  of  it. 



Our  breakfast  was  before  us,  but  our  teeth  were  idle. 
I  tasted  and  smelt,  and  said  I  would  take  coffee,  I  believed. 
The  station-boss  stopped  dead  still,  and  glared  at  me  speech- 
less.   At  last,  when  he  came  to,  he  turned  away  and  said,  as  one 
who  communes  with  himself  upon  a  matter  too  vast  to  grasp : 

"  Coffee  !  Well,  if  that 
don't  go  clean  ahead  of  me, 
I'm  d d!" 

"We  could  not  eat,  and 
there  was  no  conversation 
among  the  hostlers  and 
herdsmen — we  all  sat  at  the 
same  board.  At  least  there 
was  no  conversation  further 
than  a  single  hurried  request, 
now  and  then,  from  one  em- 
ploye to  another.  It  was 
always  in  the  same  form, 
and  always  gruffly  friendly. 
Its  western  freshness  and 
novelty  startled  me,  at  first, 
and  interested  me;  but  it 
presently  grew  monotonous, 
and  lost  its  charm.    It  was : 

"  Pass  the  bread,  you  son 
of  a  skunk ! "  No,  I  forget — skunk  was  not  the  word ;  it  seems 
to  me  it  was  still  stronger  than  that ;  I  know  it  was,  in  fact, 
but  it  is  gone  from  my  memory,  apparently.  However,  it  is 
no  matter — ^probably  it  was  too  strong  for  print,  anyway.  It 
is  the  lp,ndmark  in  my  memory  which  tells  me  where  I  first 
encountered  the  vigorous  new  vernacular  of  the  occidental 
plains  and  mountains. 

"We  gave  up  the  breakfast,  and  paid  our  dollar  apiece  and 
went  back  to  our  mail-bag  bed  in  the  coach,  and  found  com- 
fort in  our  pipes.  Eight  here  we  suffered  the  first  diminution 
of  our  princely  state.  We  left  our  six  fine  horses  and  took  six 
mules  in  their  place.    But  they  were  wUd  Mexican  fellows,  and- 



a  man  had  to  stand  at  the  head  of  each  of  them  and  hold  him 
fast  while  the  driver  gloved  and  got  himself  ready.  And 
when  at  last  he  grasped  the  reins  and  gave  the  word,  the  men 
Bprmig  suddenly  away  from  the  mules'  heads  and  the  coach 
shot  from  the  station  as  if  it  had  issued  from  a  cannon.  How 
the  fi'antic  animals  did  scamper !  It  was  a  fierce  and  furious 
gallop— and  the  gait  never  altered  for  a  moment  till  we  reeled 
off  ten  or  twelve  miles  and  swept  up  to  the  next  collection  of 
little  station-huts  and  stables. 

So  we  flew  along  all  day.  At  2  p.m.  the  belt  of  timber 
that  fringes  the  North  Platte  and  marks  its  windings  through; 
the  vast  level  floor  of  the  Plains  came  in  sight.  At  4  p.m. 
we ,  crossed  a  branch  of  the  river,  and  at  6  p.m.  we  crossed 
the  Platte  itself,  and  landed  at  Fort  Kearney,  Jiftysix  houis 
oy,t  from  St.  Joe— theeb  huitoeed  miles  ! 

■  ISTow  that  was  stage-coaching  on  the  great  overland,  ten  or 
twelve  years  ago,  when  perhaps  not  more  than  ten  men  in 
Anaerica,  all  told,  expected  to  live  to  see  a  railroad  follow  thai  ■ 
route  to  the  Pacific.  But  the  railroad  is  there,  now,  and  it 
pictures  a  thousand  odd  comparisons  and  contrasts  in  my  mind 
to  read  the  following  sketch,  in  the  S^ew  York  Times,  of  a 
recent  trip  over  almost  the  very  ground  I  have  been  describ*! 
ing.     I  can  scarcely  comprehend  the  new  state  of  things : 


"  At  4.20  P.M.,  Sunday,  we  rolled  out  of  tlie  station  at  Omaha,  and  started 
■westward  on  our  long  jaunt.  A  couple  of  hours  out,  dinner  was  announced — 
an  "  event "  to  those  of  us  who  had  yet  to  experience  what  it  is  to  eat  in  one 
of  Pullman's  hotels  on  wheels ;  so,  stepping  into  the  car  next  forward  of 
oui-  sleeping  palace,  we  found  ourselves  in  the  dining-car.  It  was  a  reve- 
lation to  us,  that  first  dinner  on  Sunday.  And  though  we  continued  to  diiffl 
for  four  days,  and  had  as  many  breakfasts  and  suppers,  our  whole  party 
never  ceased  to  admire  the  perfection  of  the  arrangements,  and  the  marvelous 
results  achieved.  Upon  tables  covered  with  snowy  linen,  and  garnished  with 
services  of  solid  silver,  Ethiop  waiters,  flitting  about  in  spotless  white,  placed 
as  by  magic  a  repast  at  which  Delmonieo  himself  could  have  had  no  occa- 
sion to  blush ;  and,  indeed,  in  some  respects  it  would  be  hard  for  that  distin- 
guished ch^  to  match  our  menu  ;  for,  in  addition  to  all  that  ordinarily  makes 



up  a  first-ciop  dinner,  had  we  not  our  antelope  steak  (the  gormand  who  has 
not  experienced  this — bah !  what  does  he  know  of  the  feast  of  fat  things  ?) 
our  delicious  mountain-brook  trout,  and  choice  fruits  and  berries,  and  (sauce 
piquant  and  unpurchasable !)  our  sweet-scented,  appetite-compelling  air  of 
the  prairies  ?  You  may  depend  upon  it,  we  all  did  justice  to  the  good  things, 
and  as  we  washed  them  down  with  bumpers  of  sparkling  Krug,  whilst  we 


sped  along  at  the  rate  of  thirty  miles  an  hour,  agreed  it  was  the  fastest  living 
we  had.  ever  experienced.  (We  beat  that,  however,  two  days  afterward 
when  we  made  twenty-seven,  miles  in  twenty-sewn  minutes,  while  our  Cham- 
pagne glasses  filled  to  the  brim  spilled  not  a  drop !)  After  dinner  we  re- 
paired to  our  drawing-room  car,  and,  as  it  was  Sabbath  eve,  intoned  some  of 
the  grand  old  hymns—"  Praise  God  from  whom,"  etc. ;  "  Shining  Shore," 
"  Coronation,"  etc.— the  voices  of  the  men  singers  and  of  the  women  singers 
blending  sweetly  in  the  evening  air,  while  our  train,  with  its  great,  glaring 
Polyphemus  eye,  lighting  up  long  vistas  of  prairie,  rushed  into  the  night 
and  the  Wild.  Then  to  bed  in  luxurious  couches,  where  we  slept  the  sleep 
of  the  just  and*  only  awoke  the  next  morning  (Monday)  at  eight  o'clock,  to 
find  ourselves  at  the  crossing  of  the  North  Platte,  three  hundred  miles  from 
Omolasi—flftem  hov/rs  and  forty  minvtes  out," 


ANOTHER  night  of  alternate  tranquillity  and  turmoiL 
But  morning  came,  by  and  by.  It  was  another  glad 
awakening  to  fresh  breezes,  vast  expanses  of  level  greensward, 
bright  sunlight,  an  impressive  solitude  utterly  without  visible 
hiunan  beings  or  human  habitations,  and  an  atmosphere  of 
such  amazing  magnifying  properties  that  trees  that  seemed 
close  at  hand  were  more  than  three  miles  away.  "We  resumed 
undress  uniform,  climbed  a-top  of  the  flying  coach,  dangled 
our  legs  over  the  side,  shouted  occasionally  at  our  frantic 
mules,  merely  to  see  them  lay  their  ears  back  and  scamper 
faster,  tied  our  hats  on  to  keep  our  hair  from  blowing  away, 
and  leveled  an  outlook  over  the  world-wide  carpet  about  us 
for  things  new  and  strange  to  gaze  at.  Even  at  this  day  it 
thrills  me  through  and  through  to  think  of  the  life,  the  glad- 
ness and  the  wild  sense  of  freedom  that  used  to  make  the 
blood  dance  in  my  veins  on  those  fine  overland  mornings ! 

Along  about  an  hour  after  breakfast  we  saw  the  first  prai- 
rie-dog villages,  the  first  antelope,  and  the  first  wolf  If  I 
remember  rightly,  this  latter  was  the  regular  cayote  (pro^ 
nounced  ky-<?-te)  of  the  farther  deserts.  And  if  it  was,  he 
was  not  a  pretty  creature  or  respectable  either,  foi'  I  got  well 
acquainted  with  his  race  afterward,  and  can  speak  with  con- 
fidence.    The  cayote  is  a  long,  slim,  sick  and  sorry-looking 




skeleton,  with  a  gray  wolf-skin  stretched  over  it,  a  tolerably 
bushy  tail  that  forever  sags  down  with  a  despairing  expression 
of  forsakenness  and  misery,  a  furtive  and  evil  eye,  and  a  long, 
sharp  face,  with 
slightly  lifted  lip 
and  exposed  teeth. 
He  has  a  general 
slinking  expression 
all  over.  The  ca- 
yote  is  a  living, 
breathing  allegory 
of  "Want.  He  is 
always  hungr  J.  He 
is  always  poor,  out 
of  luck  and  friend- 
less. The  meanest 
creatures  despise 
him,  and  even  the 
fleas  would  desert 
him  for  a  velocipede.  He  is  s6  spiritless  and  cowardly  that 
even  while  his  exposed  teeth  are  pretending  a  threat,  the  rest 
of  his  face  is  apologizing  for  it.  And  he  is  so  homely ! — so 
scrawny,  and  ribby,  and  coarse-haired,  and  pitiful.  "When  he 
sees  you  he  Hfts  his  lip  and  lets  a  flash  of  his  teeth  out,  and 
then  turns  a  little  out  of  the  course  he  was  pursuing,  de- 
presses his  head  a  bit,  and  strikes  a  long,  soft-footed  trot 
through  the  sage-brush,  glancing  over  his  shoulder  at  you, 
from  time  to  time,  till  he  is  aboiit  out  of  easy  pistol  range, 
and  then  he  stops  and  takes  a  deliberate  survey  of  you; 
he  will  trot  fifby  yards  and  stop  again — another  fifty  and  stop 
again ;  and  finally  the  gray  of  his  gliding  body  blends  with 
the  gray  of  the  sage-brush,  and  he  disappears.  All  this  is 
when  you  make  no  demonstration  against  him ;  but  if  you  do, 
he  develops  a  livelier  interest  in  his  journey,  and  instantly 
electrifies  his  heels  and  puts  such  a  deal  of  real  estate  between 
himself  and  your  weapon,  that  by  the  time  you  have  raised 
the  hammer  you  see  that  you  need  a  minie  rifle,  and  by  the 



time  you  have  got  him  in  line  you  need  a  rifled  cannon,  and 
by  the  time  you  have  "  drawn  a  bead  "  on  him  you  see  well 
enough  that  nothing  but  an  unusually  long-winded  streak  of 
lightning  could  reach  him  where  he  is  now.  But  if  you  start 
a  swift-footed  dog  after  him,  you  will  enjoy  it  iever  so  much — 
especially  if  it  is  a  dog  that  has  a  good  opinion  of  himself,  and 
has  been  brought  up  to  think  he  knows  something  about  speed. 

The  cayote  will  go  swing- 
ing gently  off  on  that  de- 
ceitful trot  of  his,  and 
every  little  while  he  will 
smile  a  fraudful  smile 
over  his  shoulder  that 
will  fill  that  dog  entirely 
fidl  of  encouragement  and 
worldly  ambition,  and 
make  him  lay  his  head 
still  lower  to  the  ground, 
and  stretch  his  neck  fur- 
ther to  the  front,  and 
pant  more  fiercely,  and 
stick  his  tail  out  straighter 
behind,  and  move  his  fii- 
rious  legs  with  a  yet 
wilder  frenzy,  and  leave  a 
broader  and  broader,  and 
higher  and  denser  cloud 


of  desert  sand  smoking  behind,  and  marking  his  long  wake 
across  the  level  plain !  And  all  this  time  the  dog  is  only  a  short 
twenty  feet  beliind  the  cayote,  and  to  save  the  soul  of  him  he 
cannot  unders|and  why  it  is  that  he  cannot  get  perceptibly; 
closer ;  and  he  begins  to  get  aggravated,  and  it  makes  him  mad- 
der and  madder  to  see  how  gently  the  cayote  glides  along 
and  never  pants  or  sweats  or  ceases  to  smile ;  and  he  grows  still 
more  and  more  incensed  to  see  how  shamefully  he  has  been 
taken  in  by  an  entire  stranger,  and  what  an  ignoble  swindle 
that  long,  calm,  soft-footed  trot  is ;  and  next  he  notices  that  he 



is  getting  fagged,  and  that  the  cayote  actually  has  to  slacken 
speed  a  little  to  keep  from  running  away  from  him — ^and  tliefn, 
that  town-dog  is  mad  in  earnest,  and  he  begins  to  strain  and 
weep  and  swear,  and  paw  the  sand  higher  than  ever,  and  reach 
for  the  cayote  with  concentrated  and  desperate  energy.  This 
"  spurt "  finds  him  six  feet  behind  the  gliding  enemy,  and  two 
miles  from  his  friends.  And  then,  in  the  instant  that  a  wild 
new  hope  is  lighting  up  his  face,  the  cayote  tiims  and  smiles 
blandly  upon  him  once  more,  and  with  a  something  about  it 
which  seems  to  say :  "  "Well,  I  shall  have  to  tear  myself  away 
from  you,  bub — ^business  is  business,  and  it  will  not  do  for  me 

^%?^v:2v-^^Y^  f^t 

'-^--*^'  v",?^<SS 

A    CA.TOTE. 

to  be  fooling  along  this  way  all  day  " — and  forthwith  there  is 
a  rushing  sound,  and  the  sudden  splitting  of  a  long  crack 
through  the  .'atmosphere,  and  behold  that  dog  is  solitary  and 
alone  in  the  midst  of  a  vast  solitude ! 

It  makes  his  head  swim.  He  stops,  and  looks  all  around ; 
climbs  the  nearest  sand-mound,  and  gazes  into  the  distance ; 
shakes  his  he^d  reflectively,  and  then,  without  a  word,  he 
turns  and  jogs  along  back  to  his  train,  and  takes  up  a  humble 
position  under  the  hindmost  wagon,  and  feels  unspeakably 
mean,  and  looks  ashamed,  and  hangs  his  tail  at  half-mast  for  a 
week.  And  for  as  much  as  a  year  after  that,  whenever  there 
is  a  great  hue  and  cry  after,  a  cayote,  that  dog  will  merely 
glance  in  that  direction  without  emotion,  and  apparently  ob- 
serve to  himself,  "  I  believe  1  do  not  wish  aay  of  the  pie." 



The  cayote  lives  chiefly  in  the  most  desolate  and  forbidding 
deserts,  along  with  the  lizard,  the  jackass-rabbit  and  the  raven, 
and  gets  an  uncertain  and  precarious  living,  and  earns  it.  He 
seems  to  subsist  almost  wholly  on  the  carcases  of  oxen,  mules 
and  horses  that  have  dropped  out  of  emigrant  trains  and  difed, 
and  upon  windfalls  of  carrion,   and  occasional  legacies   of 


offal  bequeathed  to  him 
by  w^hite  men  who  hav4 
been  opulent  enough  to 
have  something  better 
to  butcher  than  con- 
demned army  bacon. 
He  will  eat  anything  in 
iihe  world  that  his  first  cousins,  the  desert-frequenting  tribes 
of  Indians  will,  and  they  will  eat  anything  they  can  bite. 
It  is  a  curious  fact  that  these  latter  are  the  only  creatures 
known  to  history  who  will  eat  nitro-glycerine  and  ask  for 
more  if  they  survive. 

The  cayote  of  the  deserts  beyond  the  Kocky  Mountains 
has  a  peculiarly  hard  time  of  it,  owing  to  the  fact  that  his 
relations,  the  Indians,  are  just  as  apt  to  be  the  first  to  detect 
a  seductive  scent  on  the  desert  breeze,  and  follow  the  fragrance 
to  the  late  ox  it  emanated  from,  as  he  is  himself;  and  when 
this  occurs  he  has  to  content  himself  with  sitting  off  at  a  little 

BOARDING    NEAR    BY.  53 

distance  watching  those  people  strip  off  and  dig  out  everything 
edible,  and  walk  off  with  it.  Then  he  and  the  waiting  ravens 
k  explore  the  skeleton  and  polish  the  bones.  It  is  considered 
'  that  the  cayote,  and  the  obscene  bird,  and  the  Indian  of  the 
desert,  testify  their  blood  kinship  with  each  other  in  that  they 
live  together  in  the  waste  places  of  the  earth  on  terms  of  per- 
fect confidence  and  friendship,  while  hating  all  other  creatures 
and  yearning  to  assist  at  their  funerals.  He  does  not  mind 
going  a  hundred  miles  to  breakfast,  and  a  hundred  and  fifty  to 
dinner,  because  he  is  sure  to  have  three  or  four  days  between 
meals,  and  he  can  just  as  well  be  traveling  and  looking  at  the 
scenery  as  lying  around  doing  nothing  and  adding  to  the  bur- 
dens of  his  parents. 

We  soon  learned  to  recognize  the  sharp,  vicious  bark  of  the. 
cayote  as  it  came  across  the  murky  plain  at  night  to  disturb, 
our  dreams  among  the  mail-sacks ;  and  remembering  his  for- 
lorn aspect  a»4  ^is  hard  fortune,  made  shift  to  wish  him  the 
blessed  novelty  of  a  long  day's  good  luck  and  a  limitless  Mrder 
the  morrow. 


OUR  new  conductor  (just  sliipped)  had  been  without  sleep 
for  twenty  hours.  Such  a  thing  was  very  frequent- 
From  St.  Joseph,  Missouri,  to  Sacramento,  California,  by  stage- 
coach, was  nearly  nineteen  hundred  miles,  and  the  trip  was 
often  made  in  fifteen  days  (the  cars  do  it  in  four  and  a  half, 
now),  but  the  time  specified  in  the  mail  contracts,  and  required 
by  the  schedule,  was  eighteen  or  nineteen  days,  if  I  remember 
rightly.  This  was  to  make  fair  allowance  for  winter  storms 
and  snows,  and  other  unavoidable  causes  of  detention.  The 
stage  company  had  everything  under  strict  discipline  and  good 
system.  Over  each  two  hundred  and  fifty  miles  of  road  they 
placed  an  agent  or  superintendent,  and  invested  him  with 
great  authority.  His  beat  or  jurisdiction  of  two  hundred  and 
fifty  miles  was  called  a  "division."  He  purchased  horees, 
miiles  harness,  and -food  for  men  and  beasts,  and  distributed 
these  things  among  his  stage  stations,  from  time  to  time,  ac- 
cording to  his  judgment  of  what  each  station  needed.  He 
erected  station  buildings  and  dug  wells.  He  attended  to  the 
paying  of  the  station-keepers,  hostlers,  drivers  and  blacksmiths; 
and  discharged  them  whenever  he  chose.  He  was  a  very, 
very  great  man  in  his  "  division  " — a  kind  of  Grand  Mogul,  a 
Sultan  of  the  Indies,  in  whose  presence  common  men  were 
modest  of  speech  and  manner,  and  in  the  glare  of  whose  great- 
ness even  the  dazzling  stage-driver  dwindled  to  a  penny  dip. 
There  were  about  eight  of  these  kings,  all  told,  on  the  over- 
land route. 

Next  in  rank  and  importance  to  the  division-agent  came  the 



"  conductor."  His  beat  was  tlie  same  length  as  the  agent's — 
two  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  He  sat  with  the  driver,  and 
(wheii  necessary)  rode  that  fearful  distance,  night  and  day, 
without  other  rest  or  sleep  than  what  he  could  get  perched 
thus  on  top  of  the  flying  vehicle.  Think  of  it !  He  had  abso- 
lute charge  of  the  mails,  express  matter,  passengers  and  stage, 
coach,  until  he  delivered  them  to  the  next  conductor,  and  got 
his  receipt  for  them.  Con-  y.^- 
sequently  he  had  to  be  a  / 
man  of  intelligence,  de- 
cision and  considerable  ex- 
ecutive ability.  He  was 
usually  a  quiet,  pleasant 
man,  who  attended  closely 
to  his  duties,  and  was  a  good 
deal  of  a  gentleman.  It  was 
not  absolutely  necessary  that 
the  division-agent  should  be 
a  gentleman,  and  occasion- 
ally he  wasn't.  But  he  was 
always  a  general  in  admin- 
istrative ability,  and  a  bull- 
dog in  courage  and  deter- 
mination —  otherwise  the 
chieftainship  over  the  law- 
less underlings  of  the  over- 
land service  would  never  in  any  instance  have  been  to  him 
anything  but  an  equivalent  for  a  month  of  insolence  and  dis- 
tress and  a  bullet  and  a  coffin  at  the  end  of  it.  There  were 
about  ^teen  or  eighteen  conductors  on  the  overland,  for  there 
was  a  daily  stage  each  way,  and  a  conductor  on  every  stage. 

Next  in  real  and  official  rank  and  importance,  after  the 
conductor,  came  my  delight,  the  driver— next  in  real  but  not 
in  a^arera^  importance — ^for  we  have  seen  that  in  the  eyes  of 
the  common  herd  the  driver  was  to  the  conductor  as  an  admi- 
ra.1  is  to  the  captain  of  the  flag-ship.  The  driver's  beat  was 
pretty  long,  and  his  sleeping-time  at  the  stations  pretty  short, 



sometimes ;  and  so,  but  for  the  grandeur  of  his  position  his 
would  have  been  a  sorry  life,  as  well  as  a  hard  and  a  wearing 
one.  We  took  a  new  driver  every  day  or  every  night  (for 
they  drove  backward  and  forward  over  the  same  piece  of  road 
all  the  time),  and  therefore  we  never  got  as  well  acquainted 
with  them  as  we  did  with  the  conductors ;  and  besides,  they 
would  have  been  above  being  familiar  with  such  rubbish  as 
passengers,  anyhow,  as  a  general  thing.  Still,  we  were  always 
eager  to  get  a  sight  of  each  and  every  new  driver  as  soon  as  the 
watch  changed,  for  each  and  every  day  we  were  either  anxious  to 
get  rid  of  an  unpleasant  one,  or  loath  to  part  with  a  driver  we 
had  learned  to  like  and  had  come  to  be  sociable  and  friendly 
Avith.  And  so  the  first  question  we  asked  the  conductor  when- 
ever we  got  to  where  we  were  to  exchange  drivers,  was  always, 
'"  Which  is  him  ? "  The  grammar  was  faulty,  maybe,  but  we 
could  not  know,  then,  that  it  would  go  into  a  book  some  day. 
•As  long  as  everything  went  smoothly,  the  overland  driver  was 
well  enough  situated,  but  if  a  fellow  driver  got  sick  suddenly 
it  made  trouble,  for  the  coach  must  go  on,  and  bo  the  poten- 
tate who  was  about  to  climb  down  and  take  a  luxurious  rest 
after  his  long  night's  siege  in  the  midst  of  wind  and  rain  and 
darkness,  had  to  stay  where  he  was  and  do  the  sick  man's 
work.  Once,  in  the  Kocky  Mountains,  when  I  found  a  driver 
sound  asleep  on  the  box,  and  the  mules  going  at  the  usual 
break-neck  pace,  the  conductor  said  never  mind  him,  there  was 
no  danger,  and  he  was  doing  double  duty — ^had  driven  seventy- 
five  miles  on  one  coach,  and  was  now  going  back  over  it  on 
this  without  rest  or  sleep.  A  hundred  and  fifty  miles  of  hold- 
ing back  of  six  vindictive  mules  and  keeping  them  from 
climbing  the  trees!  It  sounds  incredible,  but  I  remember 
the  statement  well  enough. 

The  station-keepers,  hostlers,  etc.,  were  low,  rough  charac- 
ters, as  already  described ;  and  from  western  Nebraska  to 
Nevada  a  considerable  sprinkling  of  them  might  be  fairly  set 
down  as  outlaws— fugitives  from  justice,  crincrinals  whose  best 
security  was  a  section  of  country  which  Avas  without  law  and 
without  even  the  pretence  of  it.    When  the  "  division-agent " 



issued  an  order  to  one  of  these  parties  he  did  it  with  the  full 
understanding  that  he  might  have  to  enforce  it  with  a  navy 
six-shooter,  and  so  he  always  went  "  fixed  "  to  make  things  go 
along  smoothly.  !N"ow  and  then  a  division-agent  was  really 
obliged  to  shoot  a  hostler  through  the  head  to  teach  him  some 


simple  matter  that  he  could  have  taught  him  with  a  clul>  if  hit 
circumstances  and  surroundings  had  been  difi'erent.  But  they 
were  snappy,  able  men,  those  division-agents,  and  when  they 
tried  to  teach  a  subordinate  anything,  that  subordinate  gener- 
ally "  got  it  through  his  head." 

A  great  portion  of  this  vast  machinery — ^these  hundreds  of 
men  and  coaches,  and  thousands  of  mules  and  horses — was  in 
the  hands  of  Mr.  Ben  HoUiday.  All  the  western  half  of  the 
business  was  in  his  hands.  This  reminds  me  of  an  incident  of 
Palestine  travel  which  is  pertinent  here,  and  so  I  will  transfer 
it  just  in  the  language  in  which  I  find  it  set  down  in  my 
Holy  Land  note-book : 

No  doubt  everybody  has  heard  of  Ben  Holliday — a  man  of  prodigious 
energy,  vrho  used  to  send  mails  and  passengers  flying  across  the  continent 



in  his  overland  stage-coaclies  like  a  very  whirlwind — ^two  thousand  long 
miles  in  fifteen  days  and  a  half,  by  the  watch !  But  this  fragment  of  his- 
tory is  not  about  Ben  Holliday,  but  about  a  young  New- York  boy  by  the 
name  of  jack,  who  traveled  with  opr  small  party  of  pilgrims  in  the  Holy^ 
Land  (and  who  had  traveled  to  California  in  Mr.  Holliday's  overland  coaches 
three  years  before,  and  had  by  no  means  forgotten  it  or  lost  his  gushing  ad- 
miration of  Mr.  H.)  Aged  nineteen.  Jack  was  a  good  boy — a  good-hearted 
and  always  well-meaning  boy,  who  had  been  reared  in  the  city  of  iXew 
York,  and  although  he  was  bright  and  knew  a  great  many  useful  things, 
his  Scriptural  education  had  been  a  gooa  deal  neglected — ^to  such  a  degree, 
indeed,  that  all  Holy  Land  history  was  fresh  and  new  to  him,  and  all  Bible 


names  mysteries  that  had  never  disturbed  his  virgin  ear.  Also  in  our  party 
was  an  elderly  pilgrim  who  was  the  reverse  of  Jack,  in  that  he  was  learned 
in  the  Scriptures  and  an  enthusiast  concerning  them.  He  was  our  encyclo- 
pedia, and  we  were  never  tired  of  Jistening  to  his  speeches,  nor  he  of  making 
them.  He  never  passed  a  celebrated  locality,  from  Bashan  to  Bethlehem, 
without  illuminating  it  with  an  oration.  One  day,  when  camped  near  the' 
ruins  of  Jericho,  he  burst  forth  with  something  like  this : 

"  Jack,  do  you  see  that  range  of  mountains  over  yonder  that  bounds  the 
Jordan  valley  ?    The  mountains  of  Moab,  Jack  I    Think  of  it,  my  boy— the 


actual  mountains  of  Moab — renowned  in  Scripture  history  1  We  are 
actually  standing  face  to  face  with  those  illustrious  crags  and  peaks — and 
for  all  we  know "  [dropping  his  voice  impressively],  "  our  eyes  may  be 
resting  at  this  wry  moment  upon  the  fipot  where  lies  the  mysterious 
GRAVE  OF  Moses  I    Think  of  it.  Jack  1 " 

"  Moses  who  ?  "  (falling  inflection). 

"  Moses  who!  Jack,  you  ought  to  be  ashamed  of  yourself — you  ought  to 
be  ashamed  of  such  criminal  ignorance.  Why,  Moses,  the  great  guide,  sol- 
dier, poet,  lawgiver,  of  ancient  I^el !  Jack,  from  this  spot  where  we  stand, 
to  Egypt,  stretches  a  fearful  desert  three  hundred  miles  in  extent — and 
across  that  desert  that  wonderful  man  brought  the  ohildren  of  Israel ! — 
guiding  them  with  unfailing  Sagacity  for  forty  years  over  the  sandy  desola- 
tion and  among  the  obstructing  rocks  and  hills,  and  landed  them  at  last,  safe 
and  sound,  with  insight  of  this  very  spot ;  and  where  we  now  stand  they 
entered  the  Promised  Land  with  anthems  of  rejoicing  1  It  was  a  wonderful, 
wonderful  thing  to  do.  Jack !    Think  of  it  1 " 

"Forty  years f  Only  three  hund/red  miles?  Humph  1  Ben  Holliday 
would  have  fetched  them  through  in  thirty-six  hours  1 " 

The  boy  meant  no  harm.  He  did  not  know  that  he  had  said  anything 
that  was  wrong  or  irreverent.  And  so  no  one  scolded  him  or  felt  offended 
with  him — and  nobody  covld  but  some  ungenerous  spirit  incapable  of 
excusing  the  heedless  blunders  of  a  boy. 

At  noon  on  the  fifth  day  out,  we  arrived  at  the  "  Crossing 
of  the  South  Platte,"  alias  "  Julesburg,"  alias  "  Overland 
City,"  four  hundred  and  seventy  miles  from  St.  Joseph — the 
strangest,  quaintest,  funniest  frontier  town  that  our  uhtraveled 
eyes  had  ever  stared  at  and  been  astonished  with. 


rdid  seem,  strange  enougli  to  see  a  town  again  after  what 
appeared  to  ns  such  a  long  acquaintance  with  deep,  still, 
almost  lifeless  and  houseless  solitude !  "We  tumbled  out  into  the 
busy  street  feeling  like  meteoric  people  crumbled  off  the  corner 
of  some  other  world,  and  wakened  up  suddenly  in  this.  For  an 
hour  we  took  as  much  interest  in  Overland  City  as  if  we  had 
never  seen  a  town  before.  The  reason  we  had  an  hour  to  spare 
was  because  we  had  to  change  our  stage  (for  a  less  sumptuous 
affair,  called  a  "  mud-wagon  ")  and  transfer  our  fi'eight  of  mails. 
Presently  we  got  under  way  again.  We  came  to  the 
shallow,  yellow,  muddy  South  Platte,  with  its  low  banks  and 
its  scattering  flat  sand-bars  and  pigmy  islands — ^a  melancholy 
stream  straggling  through  the  centre  of  the  enonnous  flat 
plain,  and  only  saved  from  being  impossible  to  find  with  the 
naked  eye  by  its  sentinel  rank  of  scattering  trees  standing  on 
either  bank.  The  Platte  was  "  up,"  they  said — ^which  made 
me  wish  I  could  see  it  when  it  was  down,  if  it  could  look  any 
sicker  and  sorrier.  They  said  it  was  a  dangerous  stream  to 
cross,  now,  because  its  quicksands  were  liable  to  swallow  np 
horses,  coach  and  passengers  if  an  attempt  was  made  to  ford 
it.  But  the  mails  had  to  go,  and  we  made  the  attempt.  Once 
or  twice  in  midstream  the  wheels  sunk  into  the  yielding  sands 
80  threateningly  that  we  half  believed  we  had  dreaded  and 
avoided  the  sea  all  our  lives  to  be  shipwrecked  in  a  "  mud- 
wagon  "  in  the  middle  of  a  desert  at  last.  But  we  dragged 
through  and  sped  away  toward  the  setting  sun. 



*   Next  morning,  just  before  dawn,  when  about  five  hundred 

and  fifty  miles  from  St.  Joseph, 
our  mud-wagon  broke  down. 
We  were  to  be  delayed  five  or 
six  hours,  and  therefore  we 
took  horses,  by  invitation,  and 
joined  a  party  who  were  just 
starting  on  a  buffalo  hunt.  It 
was  noble  sport  galloping  over 
the  plain  in  the  dewy  fresh- 
ness of  the  morning,  but  ,our 
part  of  the  hunt  ended  in 
disaster  and  disgrace,  for  a 
wounded  buffalo  bull  chased 
the  passenger  Bemis  nearly 
two  miles,  and  then  he  forsook 
his  horse  and  took!  to  a  lone 
tree.  He  was  very  sullen 
about  the  matter  for  some 
twenty-four  hours,  Tsut  at  last 
he  began  to  soften  little  by  lit- 
tle, and  finally  he  said : 

""Well,  it  was  not  funny, 
and  there  was  no  sense  in  those 
gawks  making  themselves  so 
facetious  over  it.  I  tell  you 
I  was  angry  in  earnest  for 
awhile.  I  should  have  shot 
that  long  gangly  lubber  they 
called  Hank,  if  I  could  have 
done  it  without  crippling  six 
or  seven  other  people — but  of 
course  I  couldn't,  the  old  '  Al- 
len's' so  confounded  comprfr 
hensive.  I  wish  those  loafers 
had  been  up  in  the  tree ;  they 
laugh  so.    If  ^  I  had  had  a  horse 

wouldn't  have  wanted  to 


worth  a  cent — but  no,  the  minute  lie  saw  that  buifalo  buJI 
wheel  on  him  and  give  a  bellow,  he  raised  straight  up  in  the_ 
air  and  stood  on  his  heels.  The  saddle  began  to  slip,  and  I 
took  him  round  the  neck  and  laid  close  to  him,  and  hegsmi 
to  pray.  Then  he  came  down  and  stood  up  on  the  othei^ 
end  awhile,  and  the  bull  actually  stopped  pawing  sand  and 
bellowing  to  contemplate  the  inhuman  spectacle.     Then  the 


bull  made  a  pass  at  him  and  uttered"  a  bellow  that  sounded 
perfectly  frightful,  it  was  so  close  to  me,  and  that  seemed 
to  literally  prostrate  my  horse's  reason,  and  make  a -raving 
distracted  maniac  of  him,  and  I  wish  I  may  die  if  he  didn't 
stand  on  his  head  for  a  quarter  of  a  minute  and  shed  tears. 
He  was  absolutely  out  of  his  mind — ^he  was,  as  sure  as  truth 
itself,  and  he  really  didn't  know  what  he  was  -doing.  Then 
the  bull  came  charging  at  us,  and  my  horse  dropped  down 
0-1  all  fours  and  took  a  fresh  start— and  then  for  the  next 



tm  minutes  he  would  actually  throw  one  hand-spring  after 
pother  so  fast'  that  the  bull  began  to  get  unsettled,  too,  and 
didn't  know  where  to  start  in — and  so  he  stood  there  sneezing, 
d  shovelling  dust  oyer  his  back,  and  bellowing  every  now 
hd  then,  and  thinldng  he  had  got  a  fifteen-hundred  dollar 
circus  horse  for  breakfast,  cert^n.  Well,  I  was  first  out  on 
his  neck — the  horse's,  not  the  bull's — and  then  underneath, 
and  next  on  his  rump,  and  sometimes  head  up,  and  sometimes 
heels — but  I  tell  you  it  seemed  solemn  and  awful  to  be  rip- 
ping and  tearing  and  carrying  on  so  in  the  presence  of  death, 
as  you  might  say.  Pretty  soon  the  bull  made  a  snatch  for  us 
and  brought  away  some  of  my  horse's  tail  (I  suppose,  but  do 
not  know,  being  pretty  busy  at  the  time),  but  something  made.' 
him  hungry  for  solitude  and  suggested  to  hiin  t6  get  up  and 
hunt  for  it.  And  then  you  ought  to  have  seen  that  spider- 
legged  old  skeleton  go !  and  you  ought  to  have  seen  the  bull 

Jl  nbw  depabtuke. 

rat  out  after  him,  too — ^head  down,  tongue  out,'  tail  up,  bellow- 
ing like  everything,  and  actually  mowing  down  the  weeds,  and 
tearing  up  the  earth,  and  boosting  up  the  sand  like  a  whirl- 
wind !  By  George,  it  was  a  hot  race !  I  and  the  saddle  were 
back  on  the  rump,  and  I  had  the  bridle  in  my  teeth  and  hold- 


ing  on  to  the  pommel  with  both  hands.  First  we  left  the 
dogs  behimd ;  then  we  passed  a  jackass  rabbit ;  then  we  over- 
took a  cayote,  and  were  gaining  on  an  antelope  when  the 
rotten  girth  let  go  and  threw  me  about  thirty  yards  off  to  thd 
left,  and  as  the  saddle  went  down  over  the  horse's  rump  h' 
gave  it  a  lift  with  his  heels  that  sent  it  more  than  four  hun- 
dred yards  up  in  the  air,  I  wish  I  may  die  in  a  minute  if  he 
didn't.  I  feU  at  the  foot  of  the  only  solitary  tree  there  was 
in  nine  counties  adjacent  (as  any  creature  could  see  with  the 
naked  eye);  and  the  next  second  I  had  hold  of  the  bark  with 
four  sets  of  nails  and  my  teeth,  and  the  next  second  after  that 
I  was  astraddle  of  the  main  limb  and  blaspheming  my  luck  in 
a  way  that  made  my  breath  smell  of  brimstone.  I  had  the 
bull,  now,  if  he  did  not  think  of  one  thing.  But  that  one 
thing  I  dreaded.  I  dreaded  it  very  seriously.  There  was  a 
possibility  that  the  bull  might  not  think  of  it,  but  there  were 
greater  chances  that  he  would.  I  made  up  my  mind  what  I 
would  do  in  case  he  did.  It  was  a  little  over  forty  feet  to 
the  ground  from  where  I  sat.  I  cautiously  unwound  the 
lariat  from  the  pommel  of  my  saddle — " 

"  Tour  saddle  ?  Did  you  take  your  saddle  up  in  the  tree 
with  you  ? " 

"  Take  it  up  in  the  tree  with  me  ?  Why,  how  you  talk. 
Of  course  I  didn't.  No  man  could  do  that.  It  feU  in  the 
tree  when  it  came  down." 

"  Oh— exactly." 

"  Certainly.  I  unwound  the  lariat,  and  fastened  one  end 
of  it  tb  the  limb.  It  was  the  very  best  green  raw-hide,  and 
capable  of  sustaining  tons.  I  made  a  slip-noose  in  the  other 
end,  and  then  hung  it  down  to  see  the  length.  It  reached 
down  twenty4wo  feet — ^half  way  to  the  ground.  I  then 
loaded  every  barrel  of  the  AUen  with  a  double  charge.  I  felt 
satisfied,  I  said  to  myself,  if  he  never  thinks  of  that  one 
tiling  that  I  dread,  all  right — but  if  he  does,  all  right  any- 
how— I  am  fixed  for  him.  But  don't  you  know  that  the  very 
thing  a  man  dreads  is  the  thing  that  always  happens  ?  Indeed 
it  is  so.     I  watched  the  bull,  now,  with  anxiety — anxiety 



•whicli  no  one  can  conceive  of  who  has  not  been  in  such  a 
situation  and  felt  that  at  any  moment  death  might  come. 
Presently  a  thought  came  into  the  bull's  eye.  I  knew  it !  said 
J — ^if  my  nerve  fails  now,  I  am  lost.  Sure  enough,  it  was 
'just  as  I  had  dreaded,  he  started  in  to  climb  the  tree — " 

"What,  the 

"  Of  course — 
who  else  ? " 

"But  a  bull 
can't  climb  a  tree." 

"He  can't, 
can't  he?  Since 
you  know  so  much 
about  it,  did  you 
ever  see  a  bull 

"  No !  I  never 
dreamt  of  such  a 

"Well,  then, 
what  is  the  use 
of  your  talking 
that  way,  then  ? 
Because  you  never 
saw  a  thing  done, 
is  thati^r  reason 
why  it  can't  be 

"Well,  all 
right — go  on. 
What  did  you 

"The    bull 

started  up,  and  got  along  well  for  abotit  ten  feet,  then  slipped 

and  slid  back.     I  breathed  easier.    He  trieffl  it  again — ^go^ 

5t  .        ■ 



up  a  little  higher — slipped  again.  But  he  came  at  it  once 
more,  and  this  time  he  was  careful.  He  got  gradually 
higher  and  higher,  and  my  spirits  went  down  more  and 
more.  Up  he  came — an  inch  at  a  time — ^with  his  eyes^ 
hot,  and  his  tongue  hanging  out.  Higher  and  higher — ' 
hitched  his  foot  over  the  stump  of  a  limb,  and  looked  up,  as 
much  as  to  say,  'You  are  my  meat,  friend.'  Up  again — 
higher  and  higher,  and  getting  more  excited  the  closer  he  got. 
He  was  within  ten  feet  of  me !  I  took  a  long  breath, — and 
then  said  I,  'It  is  now  or  never.'  I  had  the  coil  of  the 
lariat  all  ready ;  I  paid  it  out  slowly,  till  it  hung  right  over 
his  head,;  all  of  a  sudden  I  let  go  of  the  slack,  and  the  slip- 
noose  fell  fairly  round  his  neck!  Quicker  than  lightning  I 
out  with  the  Allen  and  let  him  have  it  in  the  face.  It  was  an 
awful  foar,  and  must  have  scared  the  bull  out  of  his  senses. 
Wllen  the  smoke  cleared  away,  there  he  was,  dangling  in  the 
air,  twenty  foot  from  the  ground,  and  going  out  of  one  con- 
vulsion into  another  faster  than  you  could  count!  I  didn't 
stop  to  count,  anyhow — ^I  shinned  down  the  tree  and  shot  for 
'  home." 

"  Bemis,  is  all  that  true,  just  as  you  have  stated  it  ? " 

"  I  wish  I  may  rot  in  my  tracks  and  die  the  death  of  a  dog 
if  it  isn't." 

"  "Well,  we  can't  refuse  to  believe  it,  and  we  don't.  But 
if  there  were  some  proofs — " 

"  Proofs !    Did  I  bring  back  my  lariat  ? " 

"  Did  I  bring  back  my  horse  ? ". 


"  Did  you  ever  see  the  bull  again  ? " 


"  Well,  then,  what  more  do  you  want  ?  I  never  saw  any- 
body as  particular  as  you  are  about  a  little  thing  like  that." 

I  made  up  my  mind  that  if  this  man  was  not  a  liar  he  only 
missed  it  by  the  skin  of  his  teeth.  This  episode  reminds  me 
of  an  incident  of  my  brief  sojourn  in  Siam,  years  afterward, 
The  European  citizens  of  a  town  in  the  neighborhood  of  Bang- 

HOW    WE    "DKAWED    HIM    OUT."  67 

kok  had  a  prodigy  among  them  by  the  name  of  Eckert^  an 
Englishman — a  person  famous  for  the  number,  ingenuity  and 
imposing  magnitude  of  his  lies.  They  were  always  repeating 
his  most  celebrated  falsehoods,  and  always  trying  to  "draw 
him,  out "  before  strangers ;  but  they  seldom  succeeded.  Twice 
he  was  invited  to  the  house  where  I  was  visiting,  but  nothing 
could  seduce  him  into  a  specimen  lie.  One  day  a  planter 
named  Bascom,  an  influential  man,  and  a  proud  and  sometimes 
irascible  one,  invited  me  to  ride  over  with  him  and  call  on 
Eckert.     As  yye  jogged  along,  said  he : 

"  IS'ow,  do  you  know  where  the  fault  lies  ?  It  lies  in  putting 
Eckert  on  his  guard.  The  minute  the  boys  go  to  pumping  at 
Eckert  he  knows  perfectly  well  what  they  are  after,  and  of 
course  he  shuts  up  his  shell.  Anybody  might  know  he  would. 
But  when  we  get  there,  we  must  play  him  finer  than  that. 
Let  him  shape  the  conversation  to  suit  himself — let  him  drop 
it  or  change  it  whenever  he  wants  to.  Let  him  see  that  no- 
body is  trying  to  draw  him  out.  Just  let  him  have  his  own 
way.  He  will  soon  forget  himself  and  begin  to  grind  out  lies 
like  a,  mill.  Don't  get  impatient — ^Just  keep  quiet,  and  let  me 
play  him.  I  will  make  him  lie.  It  does  seem  to  me  that  the 
boys  must  be  blind  to  overlook  such  an  obvious  and  simple 
trick  as  that." 

Eckert  received  us  heartily — a  pleasant-spoken,  gentle- 
mannered  creature.  "We  sat  in  the  veranda  an  hour,  sippihg 
English  ale,  and  talking  about  the  king,  and  the  sacred  white 
elephant,  the  Sleeping  Idol,  and  all  manner  of  things ;  and  ■  I 
noticed  that  my  comrade  never  led  the  conversation  himself 
or  shaped  it,  but  simply  followed  Eckert's  lead,  and  betrayed 
no  solicitude  and  no  anxiety  about  anything.  The  effect  was 
shortly  perceptible.  Eckert  began  to  grow  communicative; 
he  grew  more  and  more  at  his  ease,  and  more  and  more  talka- 
tive and  sociable.  Another  hour  passed  in  the  same  way,  and 
then  all  of  a  sudden  Eckert  said : 

"  Oh,  by  the  way !  I  came  near  forgetting.  I  have  got  a 
thing  here  to  astonish  you.  Such  a  thing  as  neither  you  nor 
any  other  man  ever  heard  of—I've  got  a  cat  that  will  eat  cocoa- 



nut !  Common  green  cocoanut — and  not  only  eat  the  meat, 
but  drink  the  milk.     It  is  bo— I'll  swear  to  it." 

A  quick  glance  from  Bascom — a  glance  that  I  under- 
stood— then :  i 

"Why,  bless  my  soul,  I  never  heard  of  such  a  thing. 
Man,  it  is  impossible." 

"  I  knew  you  would  say  it.     I'll  fetch  the  cat." 

He  went  in  the  house.    Bascom  said : 

"  There — what  did  I  tell  you  ?  I^'ow,  that  is  the  way  to 
handle  Eckert.  You  see,  I  have  petted  him  along  patiently, 
and  put  his  suspicions  to  sleep.  I  am  glad  we  came.  Ton 
teU  the  boys  about  it  when  you  go  back.  Cat  eat  a  cocoanut 
— oh,  my !  Now,  that  is  just  his  way,  exactly — he  will  tell  the 
absurdest  lie,  and  trust  to  luck  to  get  out  of  it  again.  Cat  eat 
a  cocoanut — the  innocent  fool ! " 


Eekert  approached  with  his  cat,  sure  enough.  / 

Bascom  smiled.    Said  he : 

"  I'll  hold  the  cat — you  bring  a  cocoanut." 



Eckert  split  one  open,  and  chopped  up  some  pieces.  Bas- 
com  smuggled  a  wink  to  me,  and  proffered  a  slice  of  the  frmit 
to  puss.  She  snatched  it,  swallowed  it  ravenously,  and  asked 
jfor  more ! 

We  rode  our  two  miles  in  silence,  and  wide  apart.  At 
least  I  was  silent,  though  Bascom  cuffed  his  horse  and  cursed 
him  a  good  deal,  notwithstanding  the  horse  was  behaving  well 
enough.    When  I  branched  off  homeward,  Bascom  said : 

"  Keep  the  horse  till  morning.  And — ^you  need  not  speak 
of  this  ■ foolishness  to  the  boys." 

-  «■ 


TK  a  little  while  all  interest  was  taken  up  in  stretching  ovr 
-*-  necks  and  watching  for  the  "  pony-rider  " — ^the  fleet  mes- 
Benger  who  sped  across  the  continent  from  St.  Joe  to  Sacra- 
mento, carrying  letters  nineteen  hundred  miles  in  eight  dayft! 
Think  of  that  for  perishable  horse  and  human  flesh  and  blood 
to  do !  The  pony-rider  was  usually  a  little  bit  of  a  man,  brim- 
ful of  spirit  and  endurance.  IS'o  matter  what  time  of  the 
day  or  night  his  watch  came  on,  and  no  matter  whether  it  was 
winter  or  summer,  raiqing,  snowing,  hailing,  or  sleeting,  or 
whether  his  "  beat "  was  a  level  straight  road  or  a  crazy  trail 
over  mountain  crags  and  precipices,  or  whether  it  led  through 
peaceful  regions  or  regions  that  swarmed  with  hostile  Indians, 
he  must  be  always  ready  to  leap  into  the  saddle  and  be  off  like 
the  wind !  There  was  no  idling-time  for  a  pony-rider  on 
duty.  He  rode  fifty  miles  without  stopping,  by.  daylight, 
moonlight,  starlight,  or  through  the  blackness  of  darkness — 
just  as  it  happened.  He  rode  a  splendid  horse  that  was  bom 
for  a  racer  and  fed  and  lodged  like  a  gentleman ;  kept  him 
at  his  utmost  speed  for  ten  miles,  and  then,  as  he  came  crash- 
ing up  to  the  station  where  stood  two  men  holding  fast  a  fresh, 
impatient  steed,  the  transfer  of  rider  and  mail-bag  was  made 
in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye,  and  away  flew  the  eager  pair  and 
were  out  of  sight  before  the  spectator  could  get  hardly  the 
ghost  of  a  look.  Both  rider  and  horse  went  "  flying  light." 
The  rider's  dress  was  thin,  and  fitted  close ;  he  wore  a  "  round- 
about," and  a  skuU-cap,  and  tacked  his  pantaloons  into  his 



'HEKE    HE    COMES. 

boot-tops  like  a  race-jider.  He  carried  no  arms — he  carried 
nothing  that  was  not  absolutely  necessary,  for  even  the  post- 
age on  his  literary  freight  was  wfirthjlve  dollars  a  letter.  He 
,got  but  little  frivo- 
lous correspondence 
to  carry — his  bag 
had  business  letters 
in  it,  mostly.  His 
horse  was  stripped 
of  all  unnecessary 
weight,  too.  He 
wore  a  little  wafer  of  a  racmg-i 
die,  and  no  visible  blanket.  He 
wore  light  shoes,  or  none  at  all. 
The  little  flat  mail-pockets  strap- 
ped under  the  rider's  thighs  would  each  hold  about  the  bulk 
of  a  child's  primer.  They  held  many  and  many  an  important 
business  chapter  and  newspaper  letter,  but  these  were  written 
on  paper  as  airy  and  thin  as  gold-leaf,  nearly,  and  thus  bulk 
and  weight  were  economized.  The  stage-coach  traveled  about 
a  himdred  to  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  miles  a  day  (twenty- 
four  hours),  the  pony-rider  about  two  hundred  and  fifty.  There 
were  about  eighty  pony-riders  in  the  saddle  all  the  time,  night 
and  day,  stretching  in  a  long,  scattering  procession  from  Mis- 
souri to  California,  forty  flying  eastward,  and  forty  toward  the 
west,  and  among  them  making  four  hundred  gallant  horses 
earn  a  stimng  livelihood  and  see  a  deal  of  scenery  every  single 
day  in  the  year. 

We  had  had  a  consuming  desire,  from  the  beginning,  to 
see  a  ;^ony-rider,  but  somehow  or  other  all  that  passed  us  and 
all  that  met  us  managed  to  streak  by  in  the  night,  and  so  we 
heard  only  a  whiz  and  a  hail,  and  the  swift  phantom  of  the 
desert  was  gone  before  we  could  get  our  heads  out  of  the  win- 
dows. But  now  we  were  expecting  one  along  every  moment, 
and  would  see  him  in  broad  daylight.  Presently  the  driver 
exclaims : 

"  Here  he  comes  ! " 

Every  neck  is  stretched  further,  and  every  eye  strained 




wider.  Away  across  the  endless  dead  level  of  the  prairie  a 
black  speck  appears  against  the  sky,  and  it  is  plain  that  it  moves. 
Well,  I  should  think  so !     In  a  second  or  two  it  becomes  a  horse 

and  rider,  rising  i 
it  ■*  and  falling,  ris- 
ing and  falling — 
sweeping  toward 
lis  nearer  and  near- 
er— growing  more 
and  more  distinct, 
more  and  more 
sharply  defined — ■ 
nearer  and  stiU 
nearer,  and  the 
flutter  of  the  hoofe 
comes  faintlyto  the  ear — another  instant  a  whoop  and  a  hur- 
rah from  our  upper  deck,  a  wave  of  the  rider's  hand,  but  no 
reply,  and  man  and  horse  burst  past  jour  excited  faces,  and 
go  winging  away  like  a  belated  fragment  of  a  storm ! 

So  sudden  is  it  all,  and  so  like  a  flash  of  unreal  fancy,  that 

but  for  the  H^k^  of  white  foam  left  quivering  and  perishing  on 

a  mail-sack  after  the  vision  had  flashed  by  and  disappeared,  we 

„might  have  doubted  whether  we  had  seen  any  actual  horse  and 

man  at  aU,  maybe. 

We  rattled  through  Scott's  Bluffs  Pass,  by  and  by.  It  was 
along  here  somewhere  that  we  flrst  came  across  genuine  and 
unmistakable  alkali  water  in  the  road,  and  we  cordially  hailed 
it  as  a  first-class  curiosity,  and  a  thing  to  be  mentioned  with 
eclat  in  letters  to  the  ignorant  at  home.  This  water  gave  the 
road  a  soapy  appearance,  and  in  many  places  the  ground  looked 
as  if  it  had  been  whitewashed.  I  think  the  strange  alkali 
water  excited  us  as  much  as  any  wonder  we  had  come  upon 
yet,  and  I  know  we  felt  very  complacent  and  conceited,  and 
better  satisfied  with  life  after  we  had  added  it  to  our  list  of 
things  which  we  had  seen  and  some  other  people  had  not.  In 
a  small  way  we  were  the  same  sort  of  simpletons  as  those  who 
climb  unnecessarily  the  perilous  peaks  of  Mont  Blanc  and 



tlie  Matterhorn,  and  derive  no  pleasure  from  it  e^ept  the  re- 
flection that  it  isn't  a  conunon  experience.  But  once  in  a 
while  one  of  those  parties  trips  and  comes  darting  down  the 
Jong  moimtain-crags  in  a  sitting  posture,  making  the  crusted 
snow  smoke  behind  him,  flitting  from  bench  to  bench,  and 
from  terrace  to  terrace,  jarring  the  earth  where  he  strikes,  and 
still  glancing  and  flitting  on  again,  sticking  an  iceberg  into 
himself  every  now  and  then,  and  tearing  his  clothes,  snatching ' 
at  things  to  save  himself,  taking  hold  of  trees  and  fetching 
them  along  with  him,  roots  and  all,  starling  little  rocks  now 
and  then,  then  big  boulders,  then  acres  of  ice  and  snow  and 
patches  of  forest,  gath- 
ering and  still  gath- 
ering as  he  goes, 
adding  and  still  add- 
ing to  his  massed  and 
sweeping  grandeur  as 
he  nears  a  three  thou- 
feand-foot  precipice, 
till  at  last  he  waves 
his  hat  magnificently 
and  rides  into  eter- 
nity on  the  back  of  a 
raging  and  tossing 
avalanche ! 

This  is  all  very 
fine,  but  let  us  not  be 


carried  away  by  excitement,  but  ask  calmly,  how  does  this  per- 
son feel  about  it  in  his  cooler  moments  next  day,  with  six  or 
seven  thousand  feet  of  snow  and  stuff  on  top  of  him? 

'  "We  crossed  the  sand  hills  near  the  scene  of  the  Indian 
mail  robbery  and  massacre  of  1856,  wherein  the  driver  and 
conductor  perished,  and  also  all  the  passengers  but  one,  it  was 
supposed ;  but  this  must  have  been  a  mistake,  for  at  difierent 
times  afterward  on  the  Pacific  coast  I  was  personally  ac- 
quainted with  a  hundred  and  thirty-three  or  four  people  who 
were  wounded  during  that  massacre,  and  barely  escaped  with 


their  lives.  There  was  no  doubt  of  the  truth  of  it — I  had  it 
from  their  own  lips.  One  of  these  parties  told  me  that  he 
kept  coming  across  arrow-heads  in  his  system  for  nearly  seven 
years  after  the  massacre ;  and  another  of  them  told  me  that  he^ 
was  stuck  so  literally  full  of  arrows  that  after  the  Indians 
were  gone  and  he  could  raise  up  and  examine  himself,  he 
could  not  restrain  his  tears,  for  his  clothes  were  completely 

The  most  trustworthy  tradition  avers,  however,  that  only 
one  man,  a  person  named  Babbitt,  survived  the  massacre,  and 
he  was  desperately  wounded.  He  dragged  himself  on  his 
hands  and  knee  (for  one  leg  was  broken)  to  a  station  several 
miles  away.  He  did  it  during  portions  of  two  nights,  lying 
concealed  one  day  and  part  of  another,  and  for  inore  than 
forty  hours  suffering  unimaginable  anguish  from  hunger,  thirst 
and  bodily  pain.  The  Indians  robbed  the  coach  of  everything 
it  contained,  including  quite  an  amount  of  treasure. 


TTT'E  passed  Fort  Laramie  in  tlie  niglit,  and  on  the  seventh 
'  '  morning  out  we  found  ourselves  in  the  Black  Hills, 
with  Laramie  Peak  at  our  elbow  (apparently)  looming  vast 
and  solitary — a  deep,  dark,  rich  indigo  blue  in  hue,  so  por- 
tentously did  the  old  colossus  frown  under  his  beetling 
brows  of  storm-cloud.  He  was  thirty  or  forty  miles  away,  in 
reality,  but  he  only  seemed  removed  a  little  beyond  the  low 
ridge  at  our  right.  "We  breakfasted  at  Horse-Shoe  Station, 
six  hundred  and  seventy-six  miles  out  from  St.  Joseph.  We 
had  now  reached  a  hostile  Indian  country,  and  during  the 
afternoon  we  passed  Laparelle  Station,  and  enjoyed  great  dis- 
comfort all  the  time  we  were  in  the  neighborhood,  being 
aware  that  many  of  the  trees  we  dashed  by  at  arm's  length 
concealed  a  lurking  Indian  or  two.  During  the  preceding 
night  an  ambushed  savage  had  sent  a  bullet  through  the  pony- 
rider's  jacket,  but  he  had  ridden  on,  just  the  same,  because 
pony-riders  were  not  allowed  to  stop  and  inquire  into  such 
things  except  when  killed.  Ag  long  as  they  had  life  enough 
left  in  them  they  had  to  stick  to  the  horse  and  ride,  even  if 
the  Indians  had  been  waiting  for  them  a  week,  and  were  en- 
tirely out  of  patience.  About  two  hours  and  a  half  before  we 
arrived  at  Laparelle  Station,  the  keeper  in  charge  of  it  had 
fired  four  times  at  an  Indian,  but  he  said  with  an  injured  air 
that  the  Indian  had  "  skipped  around  so's  to  spile  everything 
'—and  ammunition's  blamed  skuffee,  too."     The  most  natural 



inference  conveyed  by  his  manner  of  speaking  was,  that  in 
"  skipping  around,"  the  Indian  had  taken  an  unfair  advantaga 

The  coach  we  were 
in  had  a  neat  hole 
through  its  front — 
a  reminiscence  of 
its  last  trip  through 
this  region.  The 
bullet  that  made 
it  wounded  the 
driver  slightly,  but 
he  did  not  mind  it 
much.  He  said  the 
place  ±0  keep  a  man 
"huffy"  was  down 
on  the  Southern 
Overland,  among 
the  Apaches,  be- 
fore the  company 
moved  the  stage- 
line  up  on  the  northern  route.  He  said  the  Apaches  usedTto 
annoy  him  all  the  time  down  there,  and  that  he  came  as  near 
as  anything  to  starving  to  death  in  the  midst  of  abundance 
because  they  kept  him  so  leaky  with  bullet  holes  that  he 
"eouldn^t  hold  his  vittles."  This  person's  statement  were 
not  generally  believed. 

We  shut  the  blinds  down  very  tightly  that  first  night  in 
the  hostile  Indian  country,  and  lay  on  our  arms.  "We  slept 
on  them  some,  but  most  of  the  time  we  only  lay  on  them. 
We  did  not  talk  much,  but  kept  quiet  and  listened.  It  was 
an  inky-black  night,  and  occasionally  rainy.  We  were  among 
woods  and  rocks,  hills  and  gorges — so  shut  in,  in  fact,  that 
when  we  peeped  through  a  chink  in  a  curtain,  we  could  dis- 
cern nothing.  The  driver  and  conductor  on  top  were  still, 
too,  or  only  spoke  at  long  intervals,  in  low  tones,  as  is  the 
way  of  men  in  the  midst  of  invisible  dangers.  We  listened 
to  rain-drops  pattering  on  the  roof;  and  the  grinding  of  the 


A   DARK    DEED.  77 

wheels  through  the  muddy  gravel ;  and  the  low  wailina  of  the 
wind ;  and  all  the  time  we  had  that  absurd  sense  upon  us,  in- 
separable from  travel  at  night  in  a  close-curtained  vehicle,  the 
sense  of  remaining  perfectly  still  in  one  place,  notwithstand- 
ing the  jolting  and  swaying  of  the  vehicle,  the  trampling  of 
the'  horses,  and  the  grinding  of  the  wheels.:  We  listened  a 
long  time,  with  intent  faculties  and  bated  breath ;  every  time 
one  of  us  would  relax,  and  draw  a  long  sigh  of  relief  and 
start  to  say  something,  a  comrade  would  be  sure  to  utter  a 
sudden  "Hark!"  and  instantly  the  experimenter  was  rigid 
and  listening  again.  So  the  tiresome  minutes  and  decades  of 
minutes  dragged  away,  until  at  last  our  tense  forms  filmed 
over  with  a  dulled  consciousness,  and  we  slept,  if  one  might 
call  such  a  condition  by  so  strong  a  name — for  it  was  a  sleep 
set  with  a  hair-trigger.  It  was  a  sleep  seething  and  teeming 
with  a  weird  and  distressful  confusion  of  shreds  and  fag-ends 
of  dreams — a,  sleep  that  was  a  chaos.  Presently,  dreams  and 
sleep  and  the  sullen  hush  of  the  night  were  startled  by  a  ring- 
ing report,  and  cloven  by  such  a  long,  wild,  agonizing  shriek ! 
Then  we  heard — ten  steps  from  the  stage — 

"  Help !  help !  help ! "     [It  was  our  driver's  voice.] 
«  Kill  him  !    Kill  him  like  a  dog ! " 
"  I'm  being  murdered  !    Will  no  man  lend  me  a  pistol  2 " 
"  Look  out !  head  him  off!  head  him  off ! " 
[Two  pistol  shots  ;  a  confusion  of  voicfes  and  the  trampling 
of  many  feet,  as  if  a  crowd  were  closing  and  surging  together 
around  some  object ;  several  heavy,  dull  blows,  as  with  a  club ; 
a  voice  that  said  appealingly,  "  Don't,  gentlemen,  please  don't 
— I'm  a  dead  man  ! "     Then  a  fainter  groan,  and  another  blow, 
and  away  ^ed  the  stage  into  the  darkness,  and  left  the  grisly 
mystery  behind  us.J 

What  a  startle  it  was !  Eight  seconds  would  amply  cover 
the  time  it  occupied — maybe  even  five  would  do  it.  We 
only  had  time  to  plunge  at  a  curtain  and  unbuckle  and  unbut- 
ton part  of  it  in  an  awkward  and  hindering  flurry,  when  our 
whip  cracked  sharply  overhead,  and  we  went  rumbling  and 
thundering  away,  down  a  mountain  "  grade. " 


We  fed  on  that  mystery  the  rest  of  the  night— what  was 
left  of  it,  for  it  was  waning  fast.  It  had  to  remain  a  present 
mystery,  for  all  we  could  get  from  the  conductor  in  answer  to 
our  hails  was  something  that  sounded,  through  the  clatter  of 
the  wheels,  like  "  Tell  you  in  the  morning ! " 

So  we  lit  our  pipes  and  opened  the  comer  of  a  curtain  for  a 
chimney,  and  lay  there  in  the  dark,  listening  to  each  other's 
story  of  how  he  first  felt  and  how  many  thousand  Indians  he 
first  thought  had  hurled  themselves  upon  us,  and  what  his 
remembrance  of  the  subsequent  sounds  was,  and  the  order  of 
their  occurrence.  And  we  theorized,  too,  but  there  was  never 
a  theory  that  would  account  for  our  driver's  voice  being  out 
there,  nor  yet  account  for  his  Indian  murderers  talking  such 
good  English,  if  they  were  Indians. 

So  we  chatted  and  smoked  the  rest  of  the  night  comfort- 
ably away,  our  boding  anxiety  being  somehow  marvelously 
dissipated  by  the  real  presence  of  something  to  be  anxious 

We  never  did  get  much  satisfaction  about  that  dark  occut^ 
rence.  All  that  we  could  make  out  of  the  odds  and  ends  of 
the  information  we  gathered  in  the  morning,  was  that  the 
distm-bance  occurred  at  a  station;  that  we  changed  drivers 
there,  and  that  the  driver  that  got  off  there  had  been  talking 
roughly  about  some  of  the  outlaws  that  infested  the  region 
("  for  there  wasn't  a  man  around  there  but  had  a  price  on  his 
head  and  didn't  dare  show  himself  in  the  settlements,"  the 
conductor  said) ;  he  had  talked  roughly  about  these  characters, 
and  ought  to  have  "  drove  up  there  vnth  his  pistol  cocked  and 
ready  on  the  seat  alongside  of  him,  and  begun  business  him- 
self, becamse  any  softy  would  know  they  would  be  laying  for 

That  was  all  we  could  gather,  and  we  could  see  that  nei- 
ther the  conductor  nor  the  new  driver  were  much  concerned 
about  the  matter.  They  plainly  had  little  respect  for  a  man  who 
would  deliver  offensive  opinions  of  people  and  then  be  so  sim- 
ple as  to  come  into  their  presence  unprepared  to  "  back  his  judg- 
ment," as  they  pleasantly  phrased  the  killing  of  any  fellow-being 


who  did  not  like  said  opinions.  And  likewise  they  plainly  had  a 
contempt  for  the  man's  poor  discretion  in  venturing  to  rouse 
the  wrath  of  such  utterly  reckless  wild  beasts  as  those  outlaws 
— and  the  conductor  added : 

"  I  tell  you  it's  as  much  as  Slade  himself  wants  to  do ! "  ^ 
This  remark  created  an  entire  revolution  in  my  curiosity. 
I  cared  nothing  now  about  the  Indians,  and  even  lost  interest 
in  the  murdered  driver.  There  was  such  magic  in  that  name, 
Slade  !  Day  or  night,  now,  I  stood  always  ready  to  drop  any 
subject  in  hand,  to  listen  to  something  new  about  Slade  and 
his  ghastly  exploits.  Even  before  we  got  to  Overland  City, 
we  had  begun  to  hear  about  Slade  and  his  "  division  "  (for  he 
was  a  "  division-agent ")  on  the  Overland ;  and  from  the  hour 
we  had  left  Overland  City  we  had  heard  drivers  and  conduc- 
tors talk  about  only  three  things — "  Califomy,"  the  Nevada 
silver  mines,  and  this  desperado  Slade.  And  a  deal  the  most 
of  the  talk  was  about  Slade.  We  had  gradually  come  to  have 
a  realizing  sense  of  the  fact  that  Slade  was  a  man  whose  heart 
and  hands  and  soul  were  steeped  in  the  blood  of  offenders 
against  his  dignity ;  a  man  who  awfully  avenged  all  injuries, 
aifronts,  insults  or  slights,  of  whatever  kind — on  the  spot  if  he 
could,  years  afterward  if  lack  of  earlier  opportunity  compelled 
it ;  a  man  whose  hate  tortured  him  day  and  night  till  ven- 
geance appeased  it — and  not  an  ordinary  vengeance  either, 
but  his  enemy's  absolute  death— ^nothing  less ;  a  man  whose 
face  would  light  up  with  a  terrible  joy  when  he  surprised  a 
foe  and  had  him  at  a  disadvantage.  A  high  and  efficient 
servant  of  the  Overland,  an  outlaw  among  outlaws  and  yet 
their  relentless  scourge,  Slade  was  at  once  the  most  bloody, 
the  most  dangerous  and  the  most  valuable  citizen  that  inhab- 
ited the  savage  fastnesses  of  the  mountains. 


EEALLT  and  truly,  two  tMrds  of  the  talk  of  drivers  and 
eonductors  had  been  about  this  man  Slade,  ever  since 
tHe  day  before  we  reached  Julesburg.  In  order  that  the  east- 
ern reader  may  have  a  clear  cpnception  of  what  a  Eocky  Moun^ 
tain  desperado  is,  in  his  highest  state  of  development,  I  will 
reduce  all  this  mass  of  overland  gossip  to  one  straightforward 
narrative,  and  present  it  in  the  following  shape  : 

Slade  was  bom  in  Illinois,  of  good  parentage.  At  about 
twenty-six  years  of  age  he  killed  a  man  in  a  quarrel  and  fled 
the  country.  At  St.  Joseph,  Missouri,  he  joined  one  of  the 
early  Cahfomia-bound  emigrant  trains,  and  was  given  the  post 
of  train-master.  One  day  on  the  plains  he  had  an  angry  dis- 
pute with  one  of  his  wagon-drivers,  and  both  drew  their 
revolvers.  But  the  driver  was  the  quicker  artist,  and  had  his 
weapon  cocked  first.  So  Slade  said  it  was  a  pity  to  waste  life 
on  so  small  a  matter,  and  proposed  that  the  pistols  be  thrown 
on  the  ground  and  the  quarrel  settled  by  a  fist-fight.  The 
unsuspecting  driver  agreed,  and  threw  down  his  pistol — where- 
upon Slade  laughed  at  his  simplicity,  and  shot  him  dead ! 

He  made  his  escape,  and  lived  a  wild  life  for  awhile,  divid- 
ing his  time  between  fighting  Indians  and  avoiding  an  Illinois 
eherifi',  who  had  been  sent  to  arrest  him  for  his  first  murder. 
It  is  said  that  in  one  Indian  battle  he  killed  three  savages  with 
his  own  hand,  and  afterward  cut  their  ears  ofi'  and  sent  themj 
with  his  compliments,  to  tjie  chief  of  the  tribe. 

Slade  soon  gained  a  name  for  fearless  resolution,  and  this 



was  suflacient  merit  to  procure  for  him  the  important  post  of 
ov^erland  division-agent  at  Julesburg,  in  place  of  Mr.  Jules, 
removed.      For  some  time  previously,  the  company's  horses 
had  been   frequent- 
ly  stolen,   and    the 
coaches  delayed,  by 
gangs    of    outlaws, 
who   were  wont  to 
laugh  at  the  idea  of 
any    man's    having 
the  temerity  to  re- 
sent such  outrages. 
Slade  resented  them 
promptly.     The  out- 
laws soon  found  that 
the  new  agent  was  a 
man  who    did    not 
fear    anything    that 
breathed  the  breath 
of  life.     He  made 
short    work   of    all 
offenders.     The   re- 
sult was  that  delays 
ceased,   the    compa- 
ny's property  was  let 
alone,  and  no  matter 
what    happened    or 
who    suffered,   Slade's  coaches  went   through,  e^ery  time! 
True,  in  order  to  bring  about  this  wholesome  change,  Slade 
had  to  kill  several  men — some  say  three,  others  say  four,  and 
others  six — but  the  world  was  the  richer  for  their  loss.     The 
first  prominent  difficulty  he  had  was  with  the  ex-agent  Jules, 
who  bore  the  reputation  of  being  a  reckless  and  desperate 
man  himself.    Jules  hated  Slade  for  supplanting  him,  and  a 
good  fair  occasion  for  a  fight  was  all  he  was  waiting  for.    By 
and  by  Slade  dared  to  employ  a  man  whom  Jules  had  once 
discharged.    Next,  Slade  seized  a  team  of  stage-horses  which 




he  accused  Jules  of  having  driven  oflF  and  hidden  somewhere 
for  his  own  use.     War  was  declared,  and  for  a  day  or  two  the 
two  men  walked  warily  about  the  streets,  seeking  each  other, 
Jules  armed  with  a  double-barreled  shot  gun,  and  Slade  with 
his  history-creating  revolver.     Finally,  as  Slade  stepped  into  a 
store,  Jules  poured  the  contents  of  his  gun  into  him  from  be- 
hind the  door. 
Slade    was 
pluck,  and 
Jules  got  sev- 
eral bad  pistol 
wounds   in 
return.    Then 
both  men  fell, 
and  were  car- 
ried to   their 
re  spective 
lodgings,  both 
swearing  that 
better    aim 
deadlier    work 
Both  were  bed- 
ridden a  long  time,  but  Jules 
got  on  his  feet  first,   and 
gathering  his  possessions  to- 
gether, packed  them   on  a 
couple   of  mules,  and  fled 
to  the  Kocky  Mountains  to 
gather    strength    in   safety 
against  the  day  of  reckoning. 
For  many  months  he  was  not  seen  or  heard  of,  and  was  grad- 
ually dropped  out  of  the  remembrance  of  all  save  Slade.  him- 
self.    But  Slade  was  not  the  man  to  forget  him.     On  the  con- 
trary, common  report  said  that  Slade  kept  a  reward  standing 
for  his  capture,  dead  or  alive ! 

After  awhile,  seeing  that  Slade's  energetic  administration 
had  restored  peace  and  order  to  one  of  the  worst  divisions  of 



the  road,  the  overland  stage  company  transferred  him  to  the 
Kocky  Eidge  division  in  the  Rocky  Mountains,  to  see  if  he 
could  perform  a  like  miracle  there.  It  was  the  very  paradise 
of  outlaws  and  desperadoes.  There  was  absolutely  no  sem- 
blance of  law  there.  Violence  was  the  rule.  Force  was  the 
only  recognized  authority.  The  commonest  misunderstandings 
were  settled  on  the  spot  with  the  revolver  or  the  knife.  Mur- 
ders were  done  in  open  day,  and  with  sparkling  frequency,  and 
nobody  thought  of  inquiring  into  them.  It  was  considered 
that  the  parties  who  did  the  killing  had  their  private  reasons 
for  it ;  for  other  people  to  meddle  would  haVe  been  looked 
upon  as  indelicate.  After  a  murder,  all  that  Eoeky  Mountain 
etiquette  required  of  a  spectator  was,  that  Tie  should  help  the 
gentleman  bury  his  game — otherwise  his  churhshness  would 
surely  be  remembered  against  him  the  first  time  he  killed 
a  man  himself  and  needed  a  neighborly  turn  in  interring 

Slade  took  up  his  residence  sweetly  and  peacefully  in  the 
midst  of  this  hive  of  horse-thieves  and  assassins,  and  the  very 
first  time  one  of  them  aired  his  insolent  swaggeTings  in  his 
presence  he  shot  him  dead !  He  began  a  raid  on  the  outlaws, 
and  in  a  singularly  short  space  of  time  he  had  completely 
stopped  their  depredations  on  the  stage  stock,  recovered  a  large 
number  of  stolen  horses,  killed  several  of  the  worst  despera- 
does of  the  district,  and  gained  such  a  dread  ascendancy  over 
the  rest  that  they  respected  him,  admired  him,  feared  him, 
obeyed  him !  He  wrought  the  same  marvelous  change  in  the 
ways  of  the  community  that  had  marked  his  administration  at 
Overland  City.  He  captured  two  men  who  had  stolen  over- 
land stock",  and  with  his  own  hands  he  hanged  them.  He  was 
supreme  judge  in  his  district,  and  he  was  jury  and  executioner 
likewise — and  not  only  in  the  case  of  offences  agaiinst  his  em- 
ployers, but  against  passing  emigrants  as  well.  On  one  occa- 
sion some  emigrants  had  their  stock  lost  or  stolen,  and  told 
Slade,  who  chanced  to  visit  their  camp.  "With  a  single  com- 
panion he  rode  to  a  ranch,  the  owners  of  which  he  suspected, 



and  opening  the  door,  commenced  firing,  killing  three,  and 
wounding  the  fourth. 

From  a  bloodthirstily  interesting  little  Montana  book*  I 
take  this  paragraph : 

While  on  the  road,  Slade  held  absolute  sway.  He  would  ride  down  to 
a  station,  get  into  a  quarrel,  turn  the  "house  out  of  windows^  and  maltreat 
the  occupants  most  cruelly.    The  unfortunates  had  no  means  of  redress,  and 


were  compelled  to  recuperate  as  best  they  couid.  On  one  of  these  occasions, 
it  is  said  he  killed-  the  father  of  the  fine  little  half-breed  boy  Jemmy,  whom 
he  adopted,  and  who  lived  with  his  widow  after  his  execution.  Stories  of 
Slade's  hanging  men,  and  of  innumerable  assaults,  shootings,  stabbings 
and  beatings,  in  which  he  was  a  principal  actor,  form  part  of  the  legends 
of  the  stage  line.  As  for  minor  quarrels  and  shootings,  it  is  absolutely  ce^ 
tain  that  a  minute  history  of  Slade's  life-  would  be  one  long  reconl  of  such 

'  The  Vigilantes  of  Montana,"  by  Prof.  Tlios.  J.  Dimsdale. 



Slade  was  a  matchless  marksman  with  a  navy  revolYer. 
The  legends  say  that  one  morning  at  Eocky  Ridge,  when  he  waa 
feeling  comfortable,  he  saw  a  man  approaching  who  had  of- 
fended him  some  days  before — observe  the  fine  memory  he 
had  for  matters  like  that — and,  "Gentlemen,"  skid  Slade, 
drawing,  "  it  is  a  good  twenty-yard  shot — I'll  clip  the  third 
button  on  his  coat ! "  Which  he  did.  The  bystanders  all 
admired  it.    And  they  all  attended  the  funeral,  too. 

On  one  occasion  a  man  who  kept  a  little  whisky-shelf  ait 
the  station  did  something  which  angered  Slade — and  went 
and  made  his  wiU.     A  day  or  two  afterward  Slade  came  in 


and  called  for  some  brandy.  The  man  reached  under  the 
counter  (ostensibly  to  get  a  bottle — pofisibly  to  get  somethiilg 
else),  but  Slade  smiled  upon  him  that  peculiarly  bland  and 
satisfied  smile  of  his  which  the  neighbors  had  long  ago  learned 
to  recognize  as  a  death-warrant  in  disguise,  and  told  him  to 

86  BLADE    RKLEASED    BY    HI8    WIFE. 

"none  of  that! — pass  out  the  high-priced  article."  So  the 
poor  bar-keeper  had  to  turn  his  back  and  get  the  high-priced 
brandy  from  the  shelf;  and  when  he  faced  around  again  he 
was  looking  into  the  muzzle  of  Slade's  pistol.  "  And  the  next 
instant,"  added  my  informant,  impressively,  "  he  was  one  of 
the  deadest  men  that  ever  lived." 

The  stage-drivers  and  conductors  t(fld  us  that  sometimes 
Slade  would  leave  a  hated  enemy  wholly  unmolested,  un- 
noticed and  unmentioned,  for  weeks  together — had  done  it 
once  or  twice  at  any  rate.  And  some  said  they  believed  he 
did  it  in  order  to  lull  the  victims  into  unwatchfulness,  so  that 
he  could  get  the  advantage  of  them,  and  others  said  they  be- 
lieved he  saved  up  an  enemy  that  way,  just  as  a  schoolboy 
saves  up  a  cake,  and  made  the  pleasure  go  as  far  as  it  would 
by  gloating  over  the  anticipation.  One  of  these  cases  was 
that  of  a  Frenchman  who  had  offended  Slade.  To  the  sur- 
prise of  everybody  Slade  did  not  kill  him  on  the  spot,  but  let 
him  alone  for  a  considerable  time.  Finally,  however,  he  went 
to  the  Frenchman's  house  very  late  one  night,  knocked,  and 
when  his  enemy  opened  the  door,  shot  him  dead — ^pushed  the^ 
corpse  inside  the  door  with  his  foot,  set  the  house  on  fire  and 
burned  up  the  dead  man,  his  widow  and  three  children !  I 
heard  this  story  from  several  different  people,  and  they  evi- 
dently believed  what  they  were  saying.  It  may  be  true,  and 
it  may  not.     "  Give  a  dog  a  bad  name,"  etc. 

Slade  was  captured,  once,  by  a  party  of  men  who  intended 
to  lynch  him.  They  disarmed  him,  and  shut  him  up  in  a 
strong  log-house,  and  placed  a  guard  over  him.  He  prevailed 
on  his  captors  to  send  for  his  wife,  so  that  he  might  have  a  last 
interview  with  her.  She  was  a  brave,  loving,  spirited  woman. 
She  jumped  on  a  horse  and  rode  for  life  and  death.  When 
she  arrived  they  let  her  in  without  searching  her,  and  before 
the  door  could  be  closed  she  whipped  out  a  couple  of  revolvers, 
and  she  and  her  lord  marched  forth  defying  the  party.  And 
then,  under  a  brisk  fire,  they  mounted  double  and  galloped 
away  unharmed ! 

In  the  fulness  of  time  Slade's  myrmidops  captured  his 


ancient  enemy  Jules,  wliom  they  found  in  a  well-chosen 
hiding-place  in  the  remote  fastnesses  of  the  mountains,  gaining 
a  precarious  livelihood  with  his  rifle.  They  brought  him  to 
Eocky  Kidge,  bound  hand  and  foot,  and  deposited  him  in  the 
middle  of  the  cattle-yard  with  his  back  against  a  post.  It  is 
said  that  the  pleasure  that  lit  Slade's  face  when  he  heard  of  it 
^wa,^  something  fearful  to  contemplate.  He  examined  his  ene- 
my to  see  that  he  was  securely  tied,  and  then  went  to  bed, 
content  to  wait  till  morning  before  enjoying  the  luxury  of 
killing  him.  Jules  spent  the  night  in  the  cattle-yard,  and  it  is 
a  region  where  warm  nights  are  never  known.  In  the  morn- 
ing Slade  practised  on  him  with  his  revolver,  nipping  the  flesh 
here  and  there,  and  occasionally  clipping  off  a  finger,  while 
Jules  begged  him  to  kill  him  outright  and  put  him  out  of  his 
misery.  Finally  Slade  reloaded,  and  walking  up  close  to  his 
victim,  made  some  characteristic  remarks  and  then  dispatched 
him.  The  body  lay  there  half  a  day,  nobody  venturing  to 
touch  it  without  orders,  and  then  Slade  detailed  a  party  and 
assisted  at  the  burial  himself.  But  he  first  cut  off  the  dead 
man's  ears  and  put  them  in  his  vest  pocket,  where  he  carried 
them  for  some  time  with  great  satisfaction.  That  is  the  story 
as  I  have  frequently  heard,  it  told  and  seen  it  in  print  in  Cali- 
fornia newspapers.  It  is  doubtless  correct  in  all  essential  par- 

In  due  time  we  rattled  up  to  a  stage-station,  and  sat  down 
to  breakfast  with  a  half-savage,  half-civilized  company  of 
armed  and  bearded  mountaineers,  ranchmen  and  station  em- 
ployees. The  most  gentlemanly-appearing,  quiet  and  affable 
officer  we  had  yet  found  along  the  road  in  the  Overland  Com- 
pany's service  was  the  person  who  sat  at  the  head  of  the  table, 
at  my  elbow.  Never  youth  stared  and  shivered  as  I  did  when 
I  heard  them  call  him  Slade  ! 

Here  was  romance,  and  I  sitting  face  to  face  with  it ! — 
looking  upon  it — touching  it — hobnobbing  with  it,  as  it  were ! 
Here,  right  by  my  side,  was  the  actual  ogre  who,  in  fights  and 
brawls  and  various  ways,  had  taken  the  lives  of  twenty-^x 
huma/n  ieing8,.or  all  men  lied  about  him !    I  suppose  I  was 



the  proudest  stripling  that  ever  traveled  to  see  strange  lands 
and  wonderful  people. 

He  was  so  friendly  and  so  gentle-spoken  that  I  warmed  to 
him  in  spite  of  his  awful  history.  It  was  hardly  possible  to  re- 
alize that  this  pleasant  person  was  the  pitiless  scourge  of  the 
outlaws,  the  raw-head-and-bloody-bones  the  nursing  mothers 
of  the  mountains  terrified  their  children  with.  And  to  this  day 
I  can  remember  nothing  remarkable  about  Slade  except  that 
his  face  was  rather  broad  across  the  cheek  bones,  and  that  the 
cheek  bones  were  low  and  the  lips  pecuUarly  thin  and  straight. 
But  that  was  enough  to  leave  something  of  an  effect  upon  me, 
for  since  then  I  seldom  see  a  face  possessing  those  characteristics 
without  fancying  that  the  owner  of  it  is  a  dangerous  man. 
The  coffee  ran  out.  At  least  it  was  reduced  to  one  tin- 
cup  ful,  and 
Slade  was 
about  to  take 
it  when  he  saw 
that  my  cup 
was  empty. 
He  politely  of- 
fered to  fill  it, 
but  although 
I  wanted  it, 
I  politely  de- 
clined. I  was 
afraid  he  had 
not  killed  any-^ 
body  that 
morning,  and 
might  be  need- 
ing diversion. 
But  still  with 
fiiTii  politeness  he  insisted  on  filling  my  cup,  and  said  I  had 
traveled  all  night  and  better  deserved  it  than  he — and  while 
he  talked  lie  placidly  poured  the  fluid,  to  the  last  drop.  I 
thanked  liim  and  drank  it,  but  it  gave  me  no  comfort,  for  I 




could  not  feel  sure  that  he  would  not  be  sorry,  presently,  that 
he  had  given  it  away,  and  proceed  to  kill  me  to  distract  hia 
thoughts  from  the  loss.  But  nothing  of  the  kind  occurred. 
We  left  him  with  only  twenty-six  dead  people  to  accoimt 
for,  and  I  felt  a  tranquil  satisfaction  in  the  thought  that  in 
so  judiciously  taking  care  of  No.  1  at  that  breakfast-table 
I  had  pleasantly  escaped  being  No.  27.  Slade  came  out  to 
the  coach  and  saw  us  oflF,  first  ordering  certain  rearrangements 
of  the  mail-bags  for  our  comfort,  and  then  we  took  lea\'e  of 
him,  satisfied  that  we  should  hear  of  him  again,  some  day,  and 
wondering  in  what  connection. 


AND  sure  enough,  two  or  three  years  afterward,  we  did 
hear  of  him  again.  News  came  to  the  Pacific  coast 
that  the  Vigilance  Committee  in  Montana  (whither  Slade  had 
removed  from  Rocky  Kidge)  had  hanged  him.  I  find  an 
account  of  the  aflt'air  in  the  thrilling  little  book  I  quoted  a 
paragraph  from  in  the  last  chapter — "  The  Vigilantes  of  Mon- 
tana; being  a  Reliable  Account  of  the  Capture,  Trial  and 
Execution  of  Henry  Plummer's  Notorious  Road  Agent  Band : 
By  Prof.  Thos.  J.  Dimsdale,  Virginia  City,  M.  T."  Mr. 
Dimsdale's  chapter  is  well  worth  reading,  as  a  specimen  of 
how  the  people  of  the  frontier  deal  with  criminals  when  the 
courts  of  law  prove  inefficient.  Mr.  Dimsdale  makes  two  re- 
marks about  Slade,  both  of  which  are  accurately  descriptive,, 
and  one  of  which  is  exceedingly  picturesque :  "  Those  who 
saw  him  in  his  natural  state  only,  would  pronounce  him  to  be 
a  kind  husband,  a  most  hospitable  host  and  a  courteous  gentle- 
man ;  on  the  contrary,  those  who  met  him  when  maddened 
with  liquor  and  surrounded  by  a  gang  of  armed  roughs,  would 
pronounce  him  a  fiend. incarnate."  And  this:  "From  Fort 
Kearney,  west,  he  was  feared  a  great  deal  more  than  the  Al- 
mighty" For  compactness,  simplicity  and  vigor  of  expres- 
sion, I  will "  back  "  that  sentence  against  anything  in  literature. 
Mr.  Dimsdale's  narrative  is  as  follows.  In  all  places  where 
italics  occur,  they  are  mine : 

After  the  execution  of  the  five  men  on  the  14th  of  January,  the  Vigi- 
lantes considered  that  their  work  was  nearly  ended.     They  had  freed  the 

SLADE    IN    MONTANA.  91 

country  of  highwaymen  and  murderers  to  a  great  extent,  and  they  deter- 
mined that  in  the  absence  of  the  regular  civil  authority  they  would  estab- 
lish a  People's  Court  where  all  offenders  should  be  tried  by  judge  and  jury. 
This  was  the  nearest  approach  to  social  order  that  the  circumstances  per- 
mitted, and,  though  strict  legal  authority  was  wanting,  yet  the  people  were 
firmly  determined  to  maintain  its  eflSciency,  and  to  enforce  its  decrees.  It 
may  here  be  mentioned  that  the  overt  act  which  was  the  last  round  on  the 
fatal  ladder  leading  to  the  scaffold  on  which  Slade  perished,  was  the  tearing 
in  pieces  and  stamping  upon  a  writ  of  this  court,  followed  by  his  arrest  of 
the  Judge,  Alex.  Dams,  ly  authority  of  a  presented  Derringer,  and  with  his 
own  hands. 

3.  A.  Slade  was  himself,  we  have  been  informed,  a  Vigilante  ;  he  openly 
boasted  of  it,  and  said  he  knew  all  that  they  knew.  He  was  never  accused, 
or^even  suspected,  of  either  murder  or  robbery,  committed  in  this  Territory 
(the  latter  crime  was  never  laid  to  his  charge,  in  any  place) ;  but  that  he 
had  killed  several  men  in  other  localities  was  notorious,  and  his  bad  repu- 
tation in  this  respect  was  a  most  powerful  argument  in  determining  his 
fate,  when  he  was  finally  arrested  for  the  offence  above  mentioned.  On 
returning  from  Milk  River  he  became  more  and  more  addicted  to  drinking, 
until  at  last  it  was  a  common  feat  for  him  and  his  friends  to  "  take  the 
town."  He  and  a  couple  of  his  dependents  might  often  be  seen  on  one 
horse,  galloping  through  the  streets,  shouting  and  yelUng,  firing  revolvers, 
etc.  On  many  occasions  he  would  ride  his  horse  into  stores,  break  up 
bars,  toss  the  scales  out  of  doors  and  use  most  insulting  language  to  par- 
ties present.  Just  previous  to  the  day  of  his  arrest,  he  had  given  a  fearful 
beating  to  one  of  his  followers  ;  but  such  was  his  influence  over  them  that 
the  man  wept  bitterly  at  the  gallows,  and  begged  for  his  life  with  all  his 
power.  It  had  become  quite  com/mon,  when  Slade  was  on  a  spree,  for  the 
shop-keepers  and  citizens  to  close  the  stores  and  put  out  aU  the  lights  ;  being 
fearful  of  some  outrage  at  his  hands.  For  his  wanton  destruction  of  goods 
and  furniture,  he  was  always  ready  to  pay,  when  sober,  if  he  had  money ; 
but  there  were  not  a  few  who  regarded  payment  as  small  satisfaction  for 
the  outrage,  and  these  men  were  his  personal  enemies. 

From  time  to  time  Slade  received  warnings  from  men  that  he  well 
knew  would  not  deceive  him,  of  the  certain  end  of  his  conduct.  There 
was  not  a  moment,  for  weeks  previous  to  his  arrest,  in  which  the  public 
did  not  expect  to  hear  of  some  bloody  outrage.  The  dread  of  his  very 
name,  and  the  presence  of  the  armed  band  of  hangers-on  who  followed  him 
alone  prevented  a  resistance  which  must  certainly  have  ended  in  the  instant 
murder  or  mutilation  of  the  opposing  party. 

Slade  was  frequently  arrested  by  order  of  the  court  whose  organization 
we  have  described,  and  had  treated  it  with  respect  by  paying  one  or  two 
fines  and  promising  to  pay  the  rest  when  he  had  money ;  but  in  the  transac- 
tion that  occurred  at  this  crisis,  he  forgot  even  this  caution,  and  goaded  by 
passion  and  the  hatred  of  restraint,  he  sprang  into  the  embrace  of  death. 

Slade  had  been  drunk  and  "  cutting  up  "  all  night.  He  and  his  companions 

92  IN    CUSTODY    OF    THE    "VIGILANTES." 

liad  made  the  town  a  perfect  hell.  In  the  morning,  J.  M.  Fox,  the  sheriff, 
met  him,  arrested  him,  took  him  into  court  and  commenced  reading  a  war- 
rant that  he  had  for  his  arrest,  by  way  of  arraignment.  He  became  uncon- 
trollably furious,  and  seizing  the  writ,  he  tore  it  wp,  threw  it  on  the  ground 


and  stamped  upon  it.  The  clicking  of  the  locks  of  his  companions'  revolv- 
ers was  instantly  heard,  and  u  crisis  was  expected.  The  sheriff  did  not 
attempt  his  retention  ;  but  being  at  least  as  prudent  as  he  was  valiant,  he 
succumbed,  leaving  Slade  the  master  of  the  sititation  and  the  conqueror 
and  ruler  of  the  courts,  law  and  law-makers.  This  was  a  declaration  of 
war,  and  was  so  accepted.  The  Vigilance  Committee  now  felt  that  the 
question  of  social  order  and  the  preponderance  of  the  law-abiding  citizens 
had  then  and  there  to  be  decided.  They  knew  the  character  of  Slade,  and 
they  were  well  aware  that  they  must  submit  to  his  rule  without  murmur, 
or  else  that  he  must  be  dealt  with  in  such  fashion  as  would  prevent  hia 
being  able  to  wreak  his  vengeance  on  the  committee,  who  could  never  have 
hoped  to  live  in  the  Territory  secure  from  outrage  or  death,  and  who  could 

THE    MINERS    "ON    BUSINESS."  93 

never  leave  it  without  encountering  Ijis  friends,  whom  hiq  victory  would 
have  emboldened  and  stimulated  to  a  pitch  that  would  have  rendered 
tiiem  reckless  of  consequences.  The  day  previous  he  had  ridden  into 
Dorris's  store,  and  on  being  requested  to  leave,  he  drew  his  revolver 
and  threatened  to  kill  the  gentleman  who  spoke  to  him.  Another  saloon 
he  had  led  his  horse  into,  and  buying  a  bottle  of  wine,  he  tried  to  make 
the  animal  drink  it.  This  was  not  considered  an  uncommon  performance, 
as  he  had  often  entered  saloons  and  commenced  firing  at  the  lamps,  caus- 
ing a  wild  stampede. 

A  leading  member  of  the  committee  met  Slade,  and  informed  him  in  the 
quiet,  earnest  manner  of  one  who  feels  the  importance  of  what  he  is  saying : 

"  Slade,  get  your  horse  at  once,  and  go  home,  or  there  will  bo to  pay." 

Slade  started  and  took  a  long  look,  with  his  dark  and  piercing  eyes,  at  the 
gentleman.  "What  do  you  mean?"  said  he.  "You  have  no  right  to  ask 
me  what  I  mean,"  was  the  quiet  reply,  "  get  your  horse  at  once,  and  remem- 
ber what  I  tell  you."  After  a  short  pause  he  promised  to  do  so,  and  actually 
got  into  the  saddle ;  but,  being  still  intoxicated,  he  began  calling  aloud  to 
one  after  another  of  his  friends,  and  at  last  seemed  to  have  forgotten  the 
warning  he  had  received  and  became  again  uproarious,  shouting  the  name 
of  a  well-known  courtezan  in  company  with  those  of  two  men  whom  he 
considered  heads  of  the  committee,  as  a  sort  of  challenge;  perhaps,  Iwn- 
ever,  as  a  simple  act  of  bravado.  It  seems  probable  that  the  intimation  of 
personal  danger  he  had  received  had  not  been  forgotten  entirely ;  though 
fatally  for  him,  he  took  a  foolish  way  of  showing  his  remembrance  of  it. 
He  sought  out  Alexander  Davis,  the  Judge  of  the  Court,  and  drawing  a 
cocked  Derringer,  he  presented  it  at  his  head,  and  told  him  that  he  should 
hold  him  as  a  hostage  for  his  own  safety.  As  the  judge  stood,  perfectly 
quiet,  and  offered  no  resistance  to  his  captor,  no  further  outrage  followed  on 
this  score.  Previous  to  this,  on  account  of  the  critical  t-tato  of  affairs,  the 
committee  had  met,  and  at  last  resolved  to  arrest  him.  His  execution  had 
not  been  agreed  upon,  and,  at  that  time,  would  have  been  negatived,  most 
assuredly.  A  messenger  rode  down  to  Nevada  to  inform  the  loadi()g  men 
of  what  was  on  hand,  as  it  was  desirable  to  show  that  there  was  a  feeling 
of  unanimity  on  the  subject,  all  along  the  gulch. 

The  miners  turned  out  almost  en  masse,  leaving  their  work  and  forming 
in  solid  column,  about  six  hundred  strong,  armed  to  the  teeth,  they  marched 
up  to  Virginia.  The  leader  of  the  body  well  knew  the  temper  of  his  men 
on  the  subject.  He  spurred  on  ahead  of  them,  and  hastily  calling  a  meet- 
ing of  the  executive,  he  told  them  plainly  that  the  miners  meant  "  busi- 
ness," and  that,  if  they  came  up,  they  would  not  stand  in  tlxe  street  to  bo 
shot  down  by  Blade's  friends ;  but  that  they  would  take  him  and  hang  him. 
The  meeting  was  small,  as  the  Virginia  men  were  loath  to  act  at  all.  This 
momentous  announcement  of  the  feeling  of  the  I,ower  Town  was  made  to 
a  cluster  of  men,  who  were  deliberating  behind  a  wagon,  at  the  rear  of  a 
store  on  Main  street. 

The  committee  were  most  unwilling  to  proceed  to  extremities.    All  the 


duty  they  had  ever  performed  seemed  as  nothing  to  the  task  befdre  them ; 
but  they  had  to  decide,  aud  that  quickly.  It  was  finally  agreed  that  if  the 
whole  body  of  the  miners  were  of  the  opinion  that  he  should  be  hanged, 
that  the  committee  left  it  in  their  hands  to  deal  with  him.  Off,  at  hot 
speed,  rode  the  leader  of  the  Nevada  men  to  join  his  command. 

Slade  had  found  out  what  was  intended,  and  the  news  sobered  him  in- 
stantly. He  went  into  P.  S.  Pfouts'  store,  where  Davis  was,  and  apologized 
for  his  conduct,  saying  that  he  would  take  it  all  back. 

The  head  of  the  column  now  wheeled  into  Wallace  street  and  marched  up 
at  quick  time.  Halting  in  front  of  the  store,  the  executive  officer  of  the  com- 
mittee stepped  forward  and  arrested  Slade,  who  was  at  once  informed  of  Ma 
doom,  and  inquiry  was  made  as  to  whether  he  had  any  business  to  settle. 
Several  parties  spoke  to  him  on  the  subject ;  but  to  all  such  inquiries  he 
turned  a  deaf  ear,  being  entirely  absorbed  in  the  terrifying  reflections  on 
his  own  awful  position.  He  never  ceased  his  entreaties  for  life,  and  to  see 
his  dear  wife.  The  unfortunate  lady  referred  to,  between  whom  and  Slade 
there  existed  a  warm  affection,  was  at  this  time  living  at  their  ranch  on  the 
Madison.  She  was  possessed  of  considerable  personal  attractions ;  tall, 
well-formed,  of  graceful  carriage,  pleasing  manners,  and  was,  withal,  an 
accomplished  horsewoman. 

A  messenger  from  Slade  rode  at  full  speed  to  inform  her  of  her  hus- 
band's arrest.  In  an  instant  she  was  in  the  saddle,  and  with  all  the  energy 
that  love  and  despair  could  lend  to  an  ardent  temperament  and  a  strong 
physique,  she  urged  her  fleet  charger  over  the  twelve  miles  of  rough  and 
rocky,  ground  that  intervened  between  her  and  the  obJBct  of  her  passionate 

Meanwhile  a  party  of  volunteers  had  made  the  necessary  preparations 
for  the  execution,  in  the  valley  traversed  by  the  branch.  Beneath  the  site 
of  Pfouts  and  Russell's  stone  building  there  was  a  corral,  the  gate-posts  of 
which  were  strong  and  high.  Across  the  top  was  laid  »  beam,  to  which 
the  rope  was  fastened,  and  a  dry-goods  box  served  for  the  platform.  To 
this  pl^ce  Slade  was  marched,  surrounded  by  a  guard,  composing  the  best 
armed  and  most  numerous  force  that  has  ever  appeared  in  Montana  Terri- 

The  doomed  man  had  so  exhausted  himself  by  tears,  prayers  and  lamen- 
tations, that  he  had  scarcely  strength  left  to  stand  under  the  fatal  beam. 
He  repeatedly  exclaimed,  "  My  God !  my  God !  must  I  die  ?  Oh,  my  dear 
wife ! " 

On  the  return  of  the  fatigue  party,  they  encountered  some  friends  of 
Slade,  staunch  and  reliable  citizens  aud  members  of  the  committee,  but  who 
were  personally  attached  to  the  condemned.  On  hearing  of  his  sentence, 
one  of  tliom,  a  stout-hearted  man,  pulled  out  his  handkerchief  and  walked 
away,  weeping  like  a  child.  Slade  still  begged  to  see  his  wife,  most 
piteously,  and  it  seemed  hard  to  deny  his  request ;  but  the  bloody  conse- 
quences that  were  sure  to  follow  the  inevitable  attempt  at  a  rescue,  that  her 
presence  and  entreaties  would  have  certainly  incited,  forbade  the  granting 


at  his  request.  Several  gentlemen  were  sent  for  to  see  him,  in  his  last  mo- 
ments, one  of  whom  (Judge  Davis)  made  a  short  address  to  the  people ;  but 
in  such  low  tones  as  to  be  inaudible,  save  to  a  few  in  his  immediate  vicinity. 
One  of  his  friends,  after  exhausting  his  powers  of  entreaty,  threw  off  his 
,  coat  and  declared  that  the  prisoner  could  not  be  hanged  until  he  himself 
was  killed.    A  hundred  guns  were  instantly  leveled  at  him ;  whereupon  he 


turned  and  fled ;  but,  being  brought  back,  he  was  compelled  to  resume  his 
•coat,  and  to  give  a  promise  of  future  peaceable  demeanor. 

Scarcely  a  leading  man  in  Virginia  could  be  found,  though  numbers  of 
the  citizens  joined  the  ranks  of  the  guard  when  the  arrest  was  made.  All 
lamented  the  stem  necessity  which  dictated  the  execution. 

Everything  being  ready,  the  command  was  given,  "  Men,  do  your  duty," 
and  the  box  being  instantly  slipped  from  beneath  his  feet,  he  died  almost 
instantaneously.    . 

The  body  was  cut  down  and  carried  to  the  Virginia  Hotel,  where,  in  a 
darkened  room,  it  was  scarcely  laid  out,  when  the  unfortunate  and  bereaved 
companion  of  the  deceased  arrived,  at  headlong  speed,  to  find  that  all  was 
over,  and  that  she  was  a  widow.  Her  grief  and  heart-piercing  cries  were 
terrible  evi<dences  of  the  depth  of  her  attachment  for  her  lost  husband,  and 
a  considerable  period  elapsed  before  she  could  regain  the  command  of  her 
excited  feelings. 

There  is  sometHng  about  the  desperado-nature  that  is 
wholly  unaccountable — at  least  it  looks  unaccountable.  It  is 
this.  The  true  desperado  is  gifted  with  splendid  courage,  and 
yet  he  will  take  the  most  infamous  advantage  of  his  enemy  ; 
armed  and  free,  he  will  stand  up  before  a  host  and  figh^  until 

96  "WA6    SLADE    A    COWARD." 

he  is  shot  all  to  pieces,  and  yet  when  he  is  under  the  gallows 
and  helpless  he  will  cry  and  plead  like  a  child.  Words  are 
cheap,  and  it  is  easy  to  call  Slade  a  coward  (all  executed  men 
who  do  not  "  die  game  "  are  promptly  called  cowards  by  unre- 
flecting people),  and  when  we  read  of  Slade  that  he  "  had  so 
exhausted  himself  by  tears,  prayers  and  lamentations,  that  he 
had  scarcely  strength  left  to  stand  under  the  fatal  beam,"  the 
"disgraceful  word  suggests  itself  in  a  moment — ^yet  in  fre- 
quently defying  and  inviting  the  vengeance  of  banded  Kocky 
Mountain  cut-throats  by  shooting  down  their  comrades  and 
leaders,  and  never  oiFering  to  hide  or  fly,  Slade  showed  that  he 
was  a  man  of  peerless  bravery.  No  coward  would  dare  that. 
Many  a  notorious  coward,  many  a  chicken-livered  poltroon, 
coarse,  brutal,  degraded,  has  made  his  dying  speech  without  a 
quaver  in  his  voice  and  been  swung  into  eternity  with  what 
looked  liked  the  calmest  fortitude,  and  so  we  are  justified  in 
believing,  from  the  low  intellect  of  such  a  creature,  that  it  was 
not  moral  courage  that  enabled  him  to  do  it.  Then,  if  moral 
courage  is  not  the  requisite  quality,  what  could  it  have  been 
that  this  stout-hearted  Slade  lacked  ? — this  bloody,  desperate, 
kindly-mannered,  urbane  gentleman,  who  never  hesitated  to 
warn  his  most  ruffianly  enemies  that  he  would  kill  them  when- 
ever or  wherever  he  came  across  them  next  I  I  think  it  is  a 
commdrum  worth  investigg.ting. 


JUST  beyond  the  breakfast-station  we  overtook  a  Mormon 
emigrant  train  of  thirty-three  wagons;  and  tramping 
wearily  along  and  driving  their  herd  of  loose  cows,  were  doz- 
ens of  coarse-clad  and  sad-looking  men,  women  and  children, 
who  tad  walked  as  they  were  walking  now,  day  after  day  for 
eight  lingering  weeks,  and  in  that  time  had  compassed  the 
distance  our  stage  had  come  in  eight  days  cmd  three  hours — 
seven  hundred  and  ninety-eight  miles  !  They  were  dusty  and 
uncombed,  hatless,  bonnetless  and  ragged,  and  they  did  look 
so  tired ! 

After  breakfast,  we  bathed  in  Horse  Creek,  a  (previously) 
limpid,  sparkling  stream — an  appreciated  luxury,  for  it  was 
very  seldom  that  our  furious  coach  halted  long  enough  for  an 
indulgence  of  that  kind.  We  changed  horses  ten  or  twelve 
times  in  every  twenty-four  hours — changed  mules,  rather — 
six  mules — and  did  it  nearly  every  time  in  four  minutes.  ^  It 
was  lively  work.  As  our  coach  rattled  up  to  each  station  six 
harnessed  mules  stepped  gayly  from  the  stable;  and  in  the 
twinkling  of  an  eye,  almost,  the  old  team  was  out,  and  the 
new  one  in  and  we  off  and  away  again. 

During  the  afternoon  we  passed  Sweetwater  Creek,  Inde- 
pendence Eock,  Devil's  Gate  and  the  Devil's  Gap.  The  latter 
were  wild  specimens  of  rugged  scenery,  and  full  of  interest— 
•we  were  in  the  hewrt  of  the  Roeky  Motmtains,  now.  And  we 
also  passed  by  "  Alkali "  or  "  Soda  Lake,"  and  we  woke  up  to 
the  fact  that  our  journey  had  stretched  a  long  way  across  the 


world  when  the  driver  said  that  the  Mormons  often  came 
there  from  Great  Salt  Lake  City  to  haul  away  saleratus.  He 
said  that  a  few  days  gone  by  they  had  shoveled  up  enough 
pure  saleratus  from  the  ground  (it  was  a  dry  lake)  to 
load  two  wagons,  and  that  when  they  got  these  two  wagon- 
loads  of  a  drug  that  cost  them  nothing,  to  Salt  Lake,  they 
could  sell  it  for  twenty-five  cents  a  pound. 

In  the  night  we  sailed  by  a  most  notable  curiosity,  and  one 
we  had  been  hearing  a  good  deal  about  for  a  day  or  two,  and 
were  suffering  to  see.  This  was  what  might  be  called  a  nat- 
ural ice-house.  It  was  August,  now,  and  sweltering  weather 
in  the  daytime,  yet  at  one  of  the  stations  the  men  could  scrape 
the  soil  on  the  hill-side  under  the  lee  of  a  range  of  boulders, 
and  at  a  depth  of  six  inches  cut  out  pure  blocks  of  ice — ^hard, 
compactly  frozen,  and  clear  as  crystal ! 

Toward  dawn  we  got  under  way  again,  and  presently  as 
we  sat  with  raised  curtains  enjoying  our  early-morning  smoke 
and  contemplating  the  first  splendor  of  the  rising  sim  as  it 
swept  down  the  long  array  of  mountain  peaks,  flushing  and 
gilding  crag  after  crag  and  summit  after  summit,  as  if  the 
invisible  Creator  reviewed  his  gray  veterans  and  they  saluted 
with  a  smile,  we  hove  in  sight  of  South  Pass  City.  The  hotel- 
keeper,  the  postmaster,  the  blacksmith,  the  mayor,  the  consta- 
ble, the  city  marshal  and  the  principal  citizen  and  property 
holder,  all  came  out  and  greeted  us  cheerily,  and  we  gave  liira 
good  day.  He  gave  us  a  little  Indian  news,  and  a  little  Eocky 
Mountain  news,  and  we  gave  him  some  Plains  information 
in  return.  He  then  retired  to  his  lonely  grandeur  and  we 
climbed  on  up  among  the  bristling  peaks  and  the  ragged  clouds. 
.South  Pass  City  consisted  of  four  log  cabins,  one  of  which  was 
unfinished,  and  the  gentleman  with  all  those  offices  and  titles 
was  the  chiefest  of  the  ten  citizens  of  the  place.  Think  of  hotel- 
keeper,  postmaster,  blacksmith,  mayor,  constable,  city  mar- 
shal and  principal  citizen  all  condensed  into  one  pei-son  and 
crammed  into  one  skin.  Bemis  said  he  was  "  a  perfect  Allen's 
revolver  of  dignities."  And  he  said  that  if  he  were  to  die 
as  postmaster,  or  as  blacksmith,  or  as  postmaster  and  blacksmith 


botli,  the  people  migLt  stand  it ;  but  if  he  were  to  die  all  over, 

it  would  be  a  frightful  loss  to  the  community. 

Two  miles  beyond  South  Pass  City  we  saw  for  the  first 

time  that  myste- 
rious marvel  which 
all  Western  un- 
traveled  boys  have 
heard  of  and  fully 
believe  in,  but  are 
sure  to  be  astound^ 
ed  at  when  they 
see  it  with    their 


own  eyes,  ne-rer- 
theless  —  banks  of 
snow  in  dead  sum- 
mer time.  We 
were  now  far  up 
toward  the  sky,  and 
knew  all  the  time 
that  we  must  pres- 
ently encounter 
lofty  summits  clad  in  the  "  eternal  snow  "  which  was  so  common- 
place a  matter  of  mention  in  books,  and  yet  when  I  did  see  it  glit- 
tering in  the  sun  on  stately  domes  in  the  distance  and  knew  the 
month  was  August  and  that  my  coat  was  hanging  up  because  it 
was  too  warm  to  wear  it,.  I  was  full  as  much  amazed  as  if  I  never 
had  heard  of  snow  in  August  before.  Truly,  "  seeing  is  be- 
heving  " — and  many  a  man  lives  a  long  life  through,  thinhing 
he  believes  certain  universally  received  and  well  established 
things,  and  yet  never  suspects  that  if  he  were  confronted  by 
those  things  once,  he  would  discover  that  he  did  not  really. 
believe  them  before,  but  only  thought  he  believed  them. 

In  a  little  while  quite  a  number  of  peaks  swung  into  view 
with  long  claws  of  glittering  snow  clasping  them ;  and  vnth 
here  and  there,  in  the  shade,  down  the  mountain  side,  a  little 
solitary  patch  of  snow  looking  no  larger  than  a  lady's  pocket- 
handkerchief,  but  being  in  reality  as  large  as  a  "  public  square." 
And  now,  at  last,  we  were  fairly  in  the  renowned  South 

100  THE    SOUTH    PASS. 

Pass,  and  whirling  gayly  along  high  above  the  common  world. 
We  were  perched  upon  the  extreme  summit  of  the  great 
range  of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  toward  which  we  had  been 
climbing,  patiently  climbing,  ceaselessly  climbing,  for  days 
and  nights  together — and  about  us  was  gathered  a  convention 
of  Nature's  kings  that  stood  ten,  twelve,  and  even  thirteen 
thousand  feet  high — grand  old  fellows  who  would  have  to 
stoop  to  see  Mount  "Washington,  in  the  twilight.  We  were  in 
such  an  airy  elevation  above  the  creeping  populations  of  the 
earth,  that  now  and  then  when  the  obstructing  crags  stood 
out  of  the  way  it  seemed  that  we  could  look  around  and 
abroad  and  contemplate  the  whole  great  globe,  with  its  dis- 
solving views  of  mountains,  seas  and  continents  stretching 
away  through  the  mystery  of  the  summer  haze. 

As  a  general  thing  the  Pass  was  more  suggestive  of  a  val- 
ley than  a  suspension  bridge  in  the  clouds — but  it  strongly 
suggested  the  latter  at  one  spot.  At  that  place  the  upper 
third  of  one  or  two  majestic  pui-ple  domes  projected*  above  our 
level  on  either  hand  and  gave  us  a  sense  of  a  hidden  great 
deep  of  mountains  and  plains  and  valleys  down  about  their 
bases  which  we  fancied  we  might  see  if  we  could  step  to  the 
edge  and  look  over.  These  Sultans  of  the  fastnesses  were  tur- 
baned  with  tumbled  volumes  of  cloud,  which  shredded  away 
from  time  to  time  and  drifted  off  fringed  and  torn,  trailing 
their  continents  of  shadow  after  them ;  and  catching  presently 
on  an  intercepting  peak,  wrapped  it  about  and  brooded  there 
— then  shredded  away  again  and  left  the  purple  peak,  as  they 
had  left  the  purple  domes,  downy  and  white  with  new-laid 
snow.  In  passing,  these  monstrous  rags  of  cloud  hung  low 
and  swept  along  right  over  the  spectator's  head,  swinging  their 
tatters  so  nearly  in  his  face  that  his  impulse  was  to  shrink 
when  they  came  closest.  In  the  one  place  I  speak  of,  one 
could  look  below  him  upon  a  world  of  diminishing  crags  and 
canyons  leading  down,  down,  and  away  to  a  vague  plain  with 
a  thread  in  it  which  was  a  road,  and  bunches  of  feathers  in  it 
which  were  trees, — a  pretty  picture  sleeping  in  the  sunlight — 
but  with  a  darkness  stealing  over  it  and  glooming  its  features 

*^      '  -^*'^-  'ijv  "^ 



deeper  and  deeper  under  the  frown  of  a  coming  storm ;  and 
then,  while  no  film  or  shadow  marred  the  noon  brightness  of 
his  high  perch,  he  could  watch  the  tempest  break  forth  down 
there  and  see  the  lightnings  leap  from  crag  to  crag  and  the 
sheeted  rain  drive  along  the  canyon-sides,  and  hear  the  thun- 
ders peal  and  crash  and  roar.  "We  had  this  spectacle;  a  famil- 
iar one  to  many,  but  to  us  a  novelty. 

We  bowled  along  cheerily,  and  presently,  at  the  very  sum- 
mit (though    it 

all  : 


had     been 
summit    to 
and   all  equally 
level,    for    half 
an  hour  or  more) 
we    came   to 
spring     which 
spent   its  water 
through  two  out- 
lets  and  sent  it 
in    opposite   di- 
rections.      The 
conductor  said  tha 
streams  which  we 

VV  t/A  t*    J^_f\yi^.lll£i 

V,  was  just  starting  on  a  jour- 
ney westward  to  the  Gulf  of 
California  and  the  Pacific  Ocean,  through  hundreds  and  even 
thousands  of  miles  of  desert  solitudes.  He  said  that  the 
other  was  just  leaving  its  home  among  the  snow-peaks  on 
a  similar  journey  eastward — and  we  knew  that  long  after  w:'e 
should  have  forgotten  the  simple  rivulet  it  would  still  be  plod- 
ding its  patient  way  down  the  mountain  sides,  and  canyoii- 
beds,  and  between  the  banks  of  the  Yellowstone ;  and  by  and 
by  would  join  the  broad  Missouri  and  flow  through  unknown 
plains  and  deserts  and  unvisited  wildernesses ;  and  add  a  long 
and  troubled  pilgrimage  among  snags  and  wrecks  and  sand- 
bars; and  enter  the  Mississippi,  touch  the  wharves  of  St. 
Louis  and  stiU  drift  on,  traversing  shoals  and  rocky  channel^, 




then  endless  chains  of  bottomless  and  ample  bends,  walled 
with  iinbroken  forests,  then  mysterious  byways  and  secret  pas- 
ages  among  woody  islands,  then  the  chained  bends  again,  bor- 
dered with  wide  levels  of  shining  sugar-cane  in  place  of  the 
sombre  forests ;  then  by  New  Orleans  and  still  other  chains 
of  bends — and  finally,  after  two  long  months  of  daily  and 
nightly  harassment,  excitement,  enjoyment,  adventure,  and 
awful  peril  of  parched  throats,  pumps  and  evaporation,  pass 
the  Gulf  and  enter  into  its  rest  upon  the  bosom  of  the  tropic 
sea,  never  to  look  upon  its  snow-peaks  again  or  regret  them. 

I  freighted  a  leaf  with  a  mental  message  for  the  friends  at 
home,  and  dropped  it  in  the  stream.  But  I  put  no  stamp  on 
it  and  it  was  held  for  postage  somewhere. 

On  the  summit  we  overtook  an  emigrant  train  of  many 
wagons,  many  tired  men  and  women,  and  many  a  disgusted 
sheep  and  cow.     In  the  wofully  dusty  horseman  in  charge  of 

the  expedition  I  recognized  John .     Of  all  persons  in  the 

world  to  meet  on  top  of  the 
Eocky  Mountains  thousands 
of  miles  from  home,he  was  the 
last  one  I  should  have  looked 
for.  We  were  school-boys 
together  and  warm  friends 
for  years.  But  a  boyish 
prank  of  mine  had  disrup- 
tured  this  friendship  and 
it  had  never  been  renewed. 
The  act  of  which  I  speak 
was  this.  I  had  been  ac- 
customed to  visit  occasion- 
ally an  editor  whose  room 
was  in  the  third  story  of  a 
building  and  overlooked  the 
street.  One  day  this  editor 
gave  me  a  watermelon 
IT  S..0.LKO  THE  ME.ON.  ^iji^i^   I  ^^^^  preparations 

to  devour  on  the  spot,  but  chancing  to  look  out  of  the 



window,  I  saw  Jolm  standing  directly  under  it  and  an 
irresistible  desire  came  upon  me  to  drop  the  melon  on  his 
head,  which  I  immediately  did.  I  was  the  loser,  for  it  spoiled 
the  melon,  and  John  never  forgave  me  and  we  dropped 
all  intercourse  and.  parted,  hut  now  met  again  under  these 

We  recognized  each  other  simultaneously,  and  hands 
were  grasped  as  warmly  as  if  no  coldness  had  ever  existed 
between  us,  and  no  allusion  was  made  to  any.  All  animosities 
were  buried  and  the  simple  fact  of  meeting  a  familiar  face  in 
that  isolated  spot  so  far  from  home,  was  sufficient  to  make  us 
forget  all  things  but  pleasant  ones,  and  we  parted  again  with 
sincere  "  good-byes  "  and  "  God  bless  you  "  from  both. 

We  had  been  climbing  up  the  long  shoulders  of  the  Hocky 
Mountains  for  many  tedious  hours — we  started  down  them, 
now.     And  we  went  spinning  away  at  a  round  rate  too. 

We  left  the  snowy  Wind  River  Mountains  and  Uinta 
Mountains  behind,  and  sped  away,  always  through  splendid 
scenery  but  occasionally  through  long  ranks  of  white  skele- 
tons of  mules  and 
oxen  —  monu- 
ments of  the  huge 
emigration  of 
other  days — and 
here  and  there 
were  up-ended 
boards  or  small 
piles  of  stones 
which  the  driver 
said  ma.rked  the 
resting-place  of 
more    precious 

remains.  It  was  the  loneliest  land  for  a  grave !  A  land  given 
over  to  the  cayote  and  the  raven — ^which  is  but  another  name 
for  desolation  and  utter  solitude.  On  damp,  murlty  nights, 
these  scattered  skeletons  gave  forth  a  soft,  hideous  glow,  like 
very  faint- spots  of  moonlight  starring  the  vague  desert.    It 

orviiir  ovBB  to  the  catote  a2jd  the  raven. 



wafi  because  of  the  pliosphorus  in  the  bones.  But  no  scientific 
explanation  could  keep  a  body  from  shivering  when  he  drifted 
by  one  of  those  ghostly  lights  and  knew  that  a  skull  held  it. 

At  midnight  it  began  to  rain,  and  I  never  saw  anything 
like  it — indeed,  I  did  not  even  see  this,  for  it  was  too  dark. 
We  fastened  down  the  curtains  and  even  caulked  them  with 
clothing,  but  the  rain  streamed  in  in  twenty  places,  notwith- 
iBtanding.  There  was  no  escape.  If  one  moved  his  feet  out 
of  a  stream,  he  brought  his  body  under  one ;  and  if  he  moved 
his  body  he  caught  one  somewhere  else.  If  he  struggled  out 
of  the  drenched  blankets  and  sat  up,  he  was  bound  to  get  one 
down  the  back  of  his  neck.  Meantime  the  stage  was  wander- 
ing about  a  plain  with  gaping  gullies  in  it,  for  the  driver  could 
not  see  an  inch  before  his  face  nor  keep  the  road ,  and  the 
storm  pelted  so  pitilessly  that  there  was  no  keeping  the  horses 
still.  With  the  first  abatement  the  conductor  turned  out  with 
lanterns  to  look  for  the  road,  and  the  fii-st  dash  he  made  was 
into  a  chasm  about  fourteen  feet  deep,  his  lantern  following 

like  a  meteor.  As  soon  as 
he  touched  bottom  he  sang 
out  frantically : 

"  Don't  come  here ! " 
To  which  the  driver,  who 
was  looking  over  the  preci- 
pice where  he  had  disap- 
peared, replied,  with  an  in- 
jured air:  "Think  I'm  a 
dam  fool?" 

The  conductor  was  more 
than  an  hour  finding  the  road 
"don't  come  here."  — a  matter  which  showed  us 

how  far  we  had  wandered  and  what  chances  we  had  been 
taking.  He  traced  our  wheel-tracks  to  the  imminent  verge  of 
danger,  in  two  places.  I  have  always  been  glad  that  we  were 
not  killed  that  night.  I  do  not  know  any  particular  reason,  but 
I  have  always  been  glad. 

In  the  morning,  the  tenth  day  out,  we  crossed  Greea 

■WE    60    WITH    THE    MAJOEITT. 


Hiver,  a  fine,  large,  limpid  stream — stuck  in  it,  with  the  water 
just  up  to  the  top  of  our  mail-bed,  and  waited  till  extra  teams 
were  put  on  to  haul  us  up  the  steep  bank.  But  it  was  nice 
cool  water,  and  besides  it  could  not  find  any  fresh  place  on  us 
to  wet. 

At  the  Green  Eiver  station  we  had  breakfast — ^hot  biscuits, 
fresh  antelope  steaks,  and  coffee — the  only  decent  meal  we 
tasted  between  the  United  States  and  Great  Salt  Lake  City, 
.and  the  only  one  we  were 
ever  really  thankful  for. 
Think  of  the  monotonous 
execrableness  of  the  thirty 
that  went  before  it,  to  leave 
this  one  simple  breakfast 
looming,  up  in  my  memory 
like  a  shot-tower  after  all 
these  years  have  gone  by ! 

'  At  five  P.M.  we  reached 
Fort  Bridger,  one  hundred 
and  seventeen  miles  from 
the    South    Pass,   and   one  "think  i'm  a  fool?"     . 

thousand  and  twenty-five  miles  from  St.  Joseph.  Fifty-two 
miles  further  on,  near  the  head  of  Echo  Canyon,  we  met  sixty 
United  States  soldiers  from  Camp  Floyd.  The  day  before,  they 
had  fired  upon  three  hundred  or  four  hundred  Indians,  whom 
they  supposed  gathered  together  for  no  good  purpose.  In 
the  fight  that  had  ensued,  four  Indians  were  captured,  and 
the  main  body  chased  four  miles,  but  nobody  killed.  This 
looked  like  business.  We  had  a  notign  to  get  out  and  join  the 
sixty  sohjiers,  but  upon  reflecting  that  there  were  four  hundred 
of  the  Indians,  we  concluded  to  go  on  and  join  the  Indians. 
Echo  Canyon  is  twenty  miles  long.  It  was  like  a  long, 
smooth,  naiTow  street,  with  a  gradual  descending  grade,  and 
shut  in  by  enormous  perpendicular  walls  of  coarse  conglom- 
erate, four  hundred  feet  high  in  many  places,  and  turreted  like 
mediseval  castles.  This  was  the  most  faultless  piece  of  road 
in  the  mountains,  and  the  driver  said  he  would  "  let  his  team 


WE    VISIT    AN    ANGEL. 

out."  He  did,  and  if  the  Pacific  express  trains  whiz  through 
there  now  any  faster  than  we  did  then  in  the  stage-coach,  I 
envy  the  passengers  the  exhilaration  of  it.  We  fairly  seemed 
to  pick  up  our  wheels  and  fly — and  the  mail  matter  was  lifted 
up  free  from  everything  and  held  in  solution !  I  am  not  given 
to  exaggeration,  and  when  I  say  a  thing  I  mean  it. 

However,  time  presses.      At  four  in  the  afternoon  we 

arrived  on  the  summit  of 
Big  Mountain,  fifteen  miles 
from  Salt  Lake  City,  when 
all  the  world  was  glorified 
with  the  setting  sun,  and 
the  mo^t  stupendous  pano- 
rama of  mountain  peaks  yet 
encountered  burst  on  our 
sight.  "We  looked  out  upon 
this  sublime  spectacle  fi-om 
under  the  arch  of  a  brilliant 
rainbow!  Even  the  over- 
land stage-driver  stopped  his 
horses  and  gazed ! 

Half  an  hour  or  an  hour 
later,  we  changed  horses,  and 
took  supper  with  a  Mormon 
"  Destroying  Angel."  "  De- 
stroying Angels,"  as  I  un- 
derstand it,  are  Latter-Day  Saints  who  are  set  apart  by  the 
Church  to  conduct  permanent  disappearances  of  obnoxious 
citizens.  I  had  heard  a  deal  about  these  Mormon  Destroying 
Angels  and  the  dark  and  bloody  deeds  they  had  done,  and 
when  I  entered  this  one's  house  I  had  my  shudder  all  ready. 
But  alas  for  all  our  romances,  he  was  nothing  but  a  loud, 
profane,  oflensive,  old  blackguard !  He  was  murderous  enough, 
possibly,  to  fill  the  bill  of  a  Destroyer,  but  would  you  have  cmy 
kind  of  an  Angel  devoid  of  dignity  ?  Could  you  abide  an  Angel 
in  an  unclean  shirt  and  no  suspenders  ?  Could  you  respect 
an  Angel  with  a  horse-laugh  and  a  swagger  like  a  buccaneer? 


CITY    OF    THE    SAINTS.  lOt 

There  were  other  blackguards  present — comrades  of  this 
one.  And  there  was  one  person  that  looked  like  a  gentleman 
— Heber  C.  Kimball's  son,  tall  and  well  made,  and  thirty  years 
old,  perhaps.  A  lot  of  slatternly  women  flitted  hither  and 
thither  in  a  hurry,  with  coffee-pots,  plates  of  bread,  and  other 
appurtenances  to  supper,  and  these  were  said  to  be  the  wives 
of  the  Angel — or  some  of  them,  at  least.  And  of  course  they 
were ;  for  if  they  had  been  hired  "  help  "  they  would  not  have 
let  an  angel  from  above  storm  and  swear  at  them  as  he  did, 
let  alone  one  from  the  place  this  one  hailed  from. 

This  was  our  first  experience  of  the  western  "  peculiar  in- 
stitution," and  it  was  not  very  prepossessing.  "We  did  not 
tarry  long  to  observe  it,  but  hun-ied  on  to  the  home  of  the 
Latter-Day  Saints,  the  stronghold  of  the  prophets,  the  capital 
of  the  only  absolute  monarch  in  America — Great  Salt  Lake 
City.  As  the  night  closed  in  we  took  sanctuaiy  in  the  Salt 
Lake  House  and  unpacked  our  baggage. 


WE  liad  a  fine  supper,  of  tlie  freshest  meats  and  fowls 
and  vegetables — a  great  variety  and  as  great  abun- 
dance. We  walked  about  the  streets  some,  afterward,  and 
glanced  in  at  shops  and  stores ;  and  there  was  fascination  in 
surreptitiously  staring  at  every  creature  we  took  to  be  a  Mor- 
mon. This  was  fairy-land  to  us,  to  all  intents  and  purposes — 
a  land  of  enchantment,  and  goblins,  and  awful  mystery.  We 
felt  a  curiosity  to  ask  every  child  how  many  mothers  it  had, 
and  if  it  could  tell  them  apart ;  and  we  experienced  a  thriU 
every  time  a  dwelling-house  door  opened  and  shut  as  we 
passed,  disclosing  a  glimpse  of  human  heads  and  backs  and 
shoulders — for  we  so  longed  to  have  a  good  satisfying  look  at 
a  Mormon  family  in  all  its  comprehensive  ampleness,  disposed 
in  the  customary  concentric  rings  of  its  home  circle,    ■ 

By  and  by  the  Acting  Governor  of  the  Territory  intro- 
duced us  to  other  "  Gentiles,"  and  we  spent  a  sociable  hour 
with  them.  "  Gentiles "  are  people  who  are  not  Mormon* 
Our  fellow-passenger,  Bemis,  took  care  of  himself,  during  this 
part  of  tlie  evening,  and  did  not  make  an  ovei-powering  suc- 
cess of  it,  either,  for  he  came  into  our  room  in  the  hotel  about 
eleven  o'clock,  fall  of  cheerfulness,  and  talking  loosely,  dis- 
jointedly  and  indiscriminately,  and  every  now  and  then  tug- 
ging out  a  ragged  word  by  the  roots  that  had  more  hiccups 
than  syllables  in  it.  This,  together  with  his  hanging  his  coat 
on  the  floor  on  one  side  of  a  chair,  and  his  vest  on  the  floor 
on  the  other  side,  and  piling  his  pants  on  the  floor  just  ,in 



front  of  the  same  chair,  and  then  coHtemplating  the  general 
result  with  superstitious  awe,  and  finally  pronoxmcing  it  "  too 
many  for  him "  and  going  to  bed  with  his  boots  on,  led  us 
to  fear  that  something 
he  had  eaten  had 

agreed  with  him. 

But  we  knew  after- 
ward that  it  was  some- 
thing he  had  '  been 
drinking.  It  was  the 
exclusively  Mormon 
refresher,"  valley  tan." 
Valley  tan  (or,  at  least, 
one  form  of  valley 
tan)  is  a  kind  of  whis- 
ky, or  first  cousin  to 
it;  is  of.  Mormon  in- 
vention and  manufac- 
tured only  in  Utah. 
Tradition  says  it  is 
made  of  (imported) 
fire  and  brimstone.  If 
I  remember  rightly  no  public  drinking  saloons  were  allowed 
in  the  kingdom  by  Brigham  Young,  and  no  private  drinking 
permitted  among  the  faithful,  except  they  confined  themselves 
to  "  valley  tan." 

'Eexi  day  wo  strolled  about  everywhere  through  the  broad, 
straight,  level  streets,  and  enjoyed  the  pleasant  strangeness  of 
a  city  of  fifteen  thousand  inhabitants  with  no  loafers  percepti- 
ble in  it ;  and  no  visible  drunkards  or  noisy  people ;  a  limpid 
stream  rippling  and  dancing  through  every  street  in  place  of 
a  filthy  gutter ;  block  after  block  of  trim  dwellings,  built  of 
"  frame  "  and  sunburned  brick — a  great  thriving  orchard  and 
garden  behind  every  one  of  them,  apparently — branches  from 
the  street  stream  winding  and  sparkling  among  the  garden 
beds  and  fruit  trees — and  a  grand  general  air  of  neatness,  re- 
pair, thrift  and  comfort,  around  and  about  and  over  the  whole. 




And  everywhere  were  workshops,  factories,  and  all  manner  of 
/industries ;  and  intent  faces  and  busy  hands  were  to  be  seen 

wherever  one  looked ;  and  in  one's  ears  was  the  ceaseless  clink 

of  hajnmers,  the  buzz  of  trade  and  the  contented  hum  of 

drums  and  fly-wheels. 

The  armorial  crest  of  my  own  State  consisted  of  two  dis- 
solute bears  holding  up  the 
head  of  a  dead  and  gone 
cask  between  them  and  mak- 
ing the  pertinent  remark, 
"  IlNrrED,  We  Stand — ojc!)^ 
Divided,  We  Fall."  It  was 
always  too  fig-urative  for  the 
author  of  this  book.  But 
the  Mormon  crest  was  easy. 
And  it  was  simple,  unosten- 
tatious, and  fitted  like  a 
glove.  It  was  a  representa- 
tion of  a  Golden  Beeuivk, 
with  the  bees  aU  at  work ! 
The  city  lies  in  the  edge  of  a  level  plain  as  broad  as  the 

State   of   Connecticut,   and 

crouches  close  down  to  the 

ground  under  a  ciir\ang  wall 

of  mighty  mountains  whose 

heads    are    hidden    in    the 

clouds,  and  whose  shoulders 

bear  relics  of  the  snows  of 

winter  all  the  summer  long. 

Seen  from  one  of  these  dizzy 

heiglits,    twelve    or    fifteen 

miles  off.   Great  Salt  Lake 

City  is  toned  down  and  di- 
minished till  it  is  suggestive 

of  a  child's  toy-village   re- 
posing under  the  majestic  protection  of  the  Chinese  wall. 
On  some  of  those  mountains,  to  the  southwest,  it  had  been 





paining  every  day  for  two  weeks,  but  not  a  drop  had  fallen  in 
the  city.  Ajid  on  hot  days  in  late  spring  and  early  autumn,, 
the  citizens  could 'quit  fanning  and  growling  and  go  out  and 
cool  off  by  looking  at  the  luxury  of  a  glorious  snow-storm  go- 
ing on  in  the  mountains.  They  could  enjoy  it  at  a  distance, 
at  those  seasons,  every  day,  though  no  snow  would  fall  in  their 
streets,  or  anywhere  near  them. 

Salt  Lake  City  was  healthy — an  extremely  healthy  city. 
They  declared  there  was  only  one  physician  in  the  place  and 


he  was  arrested  every  week  regularly  and  held  to  answer  under 
the  vagrant  act  for  having  "no  visible  means  of  support." 
[They  always  give  you  a  good  substantial  article  of  truth  in 



Salt  Lake,  and  good  measure  and  good  weight,  too.  Yery 
often,  if  you  wished  to  weigh  one  of  their  airiest  little  com- 
monplace statements  you  would  want  the  hay  scales.] 

"We  desired  to  visit  the  famous  inland  sea,  the  American 
"  Dead  Sea,"  the  great  Salt  Lake — seventeen  miles,  horsehackj 
from  the  city — for  we  had  dreamed  about  it,  and  thought 
about  it,  and  talked  about  it,  and  yearned  to  see  it,  all  the  first 
part  of  our  trip ;  but  now  when  it  was  only  arm's  length  away 
it  had  suddenly  lost  nearly  every  bit  of  its  interest.  And  so 
we  put  it  off,  in  a  sort  of  general  way,  tiU  next  day — and  that 
was  the  last  we  ever  thought  of  it.  "We  dined  with  some  hos- 
pitable Gentiles ;  and  visited  the  foundation  of  the  prodigious 
temple ;  and  talked  long  with  th^t  shrewd  Connecticut  Yankee, 
Heber  0.  Kimball  (since  deceased),  a  saint  of  high  degree 

and  a  mighty  man  of  commerce. 
"We  saw  the  "  Tithing-House,"  and 
the  "Lion  House,"  and  I  do  not 
know  or  remember  how  many 
more  church  and  government 
buildings  of  various  kinds  and 
curious  names.  We  flitted  hither 
and  thither  and  enjoyed  every 
hour,  and  picked  up  a  great  deal 
of  useful  information  and  enter- 
taining nonsense,  and  went  to 
bed  at  night  satisfied. 
The  second  day,  we  made  the  acquaintance  of  Mr.  Street 
(since  deceased)  and  put  on  white  shirts  and.  went  and  paid  a 
state  visit  to  the  king.  He  seemed  a  quiet,  kindly,  easy-man- 
nered, dignified,  self-possessed  old  gentleman  of  fifty-five  or 
sixty,  and  had  a  gentle  craft  in  his  eye  that  probably  belonged 
there.  He  was  very  simply  dressed  and  was  just  taking  off  a 
straw  hat  as  we  entered.  He  talked  about  Utah,  and  the  In- 
dians, and  Nevada,  and  general  American  matters  and  ques- 
tions, with  our  secretary  and  certain  government  officials  who 
came  with  us.  But  he  never  paid  any  attention  to  me,  not- 
withstanding I  made  several  attempts  to  "draw  him  out"  on 



federal  politics  and  his  high  handed  attitude  toward  Congress. 
I  thought  some  of  the  things  I  said  were  rather  fine.  But  he 
merely  looked  around  at  me,  at  distant  intervals,  something  as  I 

^1qii/\M  Y0«'' 

have  seen  a  benignant  oH  cat  look  around  to  see  which  kitten 
was  meddling  with  her  tail.  By  and  by  I  subsided  into  an 
indignant  silence,  and  so  sat  until  the  end,  hot  and  flushed, 
and  execrating  him  in  my  heart  for  an  ignorant  savage.  But 
he  was  calm.  His  conversation  with  those  gentlemen  flowed 
on  as  sweetly  and  peacefully  and  musically  as  any  summer 
brook.  When  the  audience  was  ended  and  we  were  retiring 
from  the  presence,  he  put  his  hand  on  my  head,  beamed  down 
on  me  in  an  admiring  way  and  said  to  my  brother : 
"  Ah — ^your  child,  I  presume  ?    Boy,  or  girl  ? " 



ME.  STREET  was  very  busy  with  his  telegraphic  matters 
— and  considering  that  he  had  eight  or  nine  hundred 
miles  of  mgged,  snowy,  uninhabited  mountains,  and  waterless, 
treeless,  melancholy  deserts  to  traverse  with  his  wire,  it  was 
natural  and  needful  that  he  should  be  as  busy  as  possible.  He 
could  not  go  comfortably  along  and  cut  his  poles  by  the  road- 
side, either,  but  they  had  to  be  hauled  by  ox  teams  across 
those  exhausting  deserts — and  it  was  two  days'  journey  from 
water  to  water,  in  one  or  two  of  them.  Mr.  Street's  contract 
,wae  a  vast  work,  every  way  one  looked  at  it ;  and  yet  to  com- 
prehend what  the  vague  words  "  eight  hundred  mUes  of  rug- 
ged mountains  and  dismal  deserts "  mean,  one  must  go  over 
the  ground  in  person — pen  and  ink  descriptions  cannot  convey 
the  dreary  reality  to  the  reader.  And  after  all,  Mr.  S.'s 
mightiest  difficulty  turned  out  to  be  one  which  he  had  never 
taken  into  the  account  at  all.  Unto  Mormons  he  had  sub-let 
the  hardest  and  heaviest  half  of  his  great  undertaking,  and  all 
of  a  sudden  they  concluded  that  they  were  going  to  make 
little  or  nothing,  and  so  they  tranquilly  threw  their  poles 
overboard  in  mountain  or  desert,  just  as  it  happened  when 
they  took  the  notion,  and  drove  home  and  went  about  their 
customary  business!  They  were  under  written  contract  to 
Mr.  Street,  but  they  did  not  care  anything  for  that.  They 
said  they  would  "  admire  "  to  see  a  "  Gentile  "  force  a  Mormon 
to  fulfil  a  losing  contract  in  Utah !     And  they  made  them- 


selves  veiy  merry  over  the  matter.     Street  said — for  it  was  Ixe 
that  told  us  these  things : 

"  I  was  in  dismay.  I  was  under  heavy  bonds  to  complete 
my  contract  in  a  given  time,  and  this  disaster  looked  very 
much  like  ruin.  It  was  an  astounding  thing ;  it  was  such  a 
wholly  unlooked-for  difficulty,  that  I  was  entirely  nonplussed. 
I  am  a  business  man — have  always  been  a  business  man — do 
not  know  anything  hut  business — and  so  you  can  imagine  how 
like  being  struck  by  lightning  it  was  to  find  myself  in  a  coimtry 
where  written  contracts  were  worthless .'— ;-that  main  security, 
that  sheet-anchor,  that  absolute  necessity,  of  business.  My 
confidence  left  me.  There  was  no  use  in  making  new  con- 
tracts—that was  plain.  I  talked  with  first  one  prominent 
citizen  and  then  another.  They  all  sympathized  with  me,  first 
rate,  but  they  did  not  know  how  to  help  me.  But  at  last  a 
Gentile  said,  '  Go  to  Brigham  Young ! — these  small  fiy  cannot 
do  you  any  good.'  I  did  not  think  much  of  the  idea,  for  if 
the  la/w  could  not  help  me,  what  could  an  individual  do  who 
had  not  even  anything  to  do  with  either  making  the  laws  or 
executing  them?  He  might  be  a  very  good  patriarch  of  a 
church  and  preacher  in  its  tabernacle^  but  something  sterner 
than  religion  and  moral  suasion  was  needed  to  nandle  a  hun- 
dred refractory,  hall-civilized  sub-contractors.  But  what  was 
a  man  to  do  ?  I  thought  if  Mr.  Young  could  not  do  anything 
else,  he  might  probably  be  able  to  give  me  some  advice  and  a 
valuable  hint  or  two,  and  so  I  went  straight  to  him  and  laid 
the  whole  case  before  him.  He  said  very  little,  but  he  showed 
strong  interest  all  the  way  through.  He  examined  all  the 
papers  in  detail,  and  whenever  there  seemed  anything  like  a 
hitch,  either  in  the  papers  or  my  statement,  he  would  go  back 
and  take  up  the  thread  and  follow  it  patiently  out  to  an  intel- 
ligent and  satisfactory  result.  Then  he  made  a  list  of  the 
contractors',  names.     Finally  he  said  : 

"  ^  Mr.  Street,  this  is  all  perfectly  plain.  These  contracts 
are  strictly  and  legally  drawn,  and  are  duly  signed  and  certi- 
fied. These  men  manifestly  entered  into  them  with  their  eyes 
open.     I  see  no  fault  or  flaw  anywhere.' 

"  Then  Mr.  Young  turned  to  a  man  waiting  at  the  other 



end  of  the  room  and  said :  '  Take  this  list  .of  names  to  So-and- 
so,  and  tell  him  to  have  these  men  here  at  such-and-such  an 

"  They  were  there,  to  the  minute.     So  was  I.    Mr.  Young 


asked  them  a  number  of  questions,  and  their  answers  made 
my  statement  good.    Then  he  said  to  them : 

" '  You  signed  these  contracts  and  assumed  these  obligations 
of  your  own  free  will  and  accord  ? ' 


"  '  Then  carry  them  out  to  the  letter,  if  it  makes  paupers  of 
yon !     Go ! ' 

"  And  they  did  go,  too !  They  are  strung  across  the  des- 
erts now,  working  like  bees.  And  I  never  hear  a  word  out 
of  them.  There  is  a  batch  of  governors,  and  judges,  and  other 
officials  here,  shipped  from  "Washington,  and  they  maintain 
the  semblance  of  a  republican  form  of  government — but  the 



petrified  tratK  is  that  Utali  is  an  absolute  monarchy  and  Brig- 
ham  Young  is  king ! " 

Mr.  Street  was  a  fine  man,  and  I  believe  his  story.  I 
knew  him  well  during  several  years  afterward  in  San  Fran- 

Our  stay  in  Salt  Lake  City  amounted  to  only  two  days, 
and  therefore  we  had  no  time  to  make  the  customary  inquisi- 
tion into  the  workings  of  polygamy  and  get  up  the  usual 



statistics  and  deductions  preparatory  to  calling  the  attention 
of  the  nation  at  large  once  more  to  the  matter.  I  had  the 
will  to  do  it.  With  the  ^shing  self-sufficiency  of  youth  I  was 
feverish  to  plunge  in  headlong  and  achieve  a  jgreat  reform 
here — ^imtil  I  saw  the  Mortnon  women.  Then  I  was  touched. 
My  heart  was  wiser  than  my  head.    It  warmed  toward  these 



poor,  ungainly  ?ind  patlietically  "  homely  "  creatures,  and  as  I 
turned  to  hide  the  generous  moisture  in  my  eyes,  I  said, 
"  No — the  man  that  marries  one  of  them  has  done  an  act  of 
Christian  charity  which  entitles  him  to  the  kindly  applause 
of  mankind,  not  their  harsh  censure — and  the  man  that  mar- 
ries sixty  of  them  has  done  a  deed  of  open-handed  generosity 
so  sublime  that  the  nations  should  stand  uncovered  in  his 
presence  and  worship  in  silence."  * 

*  For  a  brief  sketch  of  Mormon  history,  and  the  noted  Mountain  Meadow 
massacre,  see  Appendices  A  and  B. 


IT  is  a  luscious  country  for  thrilling  evening  stories  about 
assassinations  of  intractable  Gentiles.  I  cannot  easily 
conceive  of  anything  more  cosy  than  the  night  in  Salt  Lake 
which  we  spent  in  a  Gentile  den,  smoking  pipes  and  listening 
to  tales  of  how  Burton  galloped  in  among  the  pleading  and 
defenceless  "Morisites"  and  shot  them  down,  men  and 
women,  like  so  many  dogs.  And  how  Bill  Hickman,  a  De- 
stroying Angel,  shot  Drown  and  Arnold  dead  for  bringing  suit 
against  him  for  a  debt.  And  how  Porter  Eockwell  did  this 
and  that  dreadful  thing.  And  how  heedless  people  often  come 
to  Utah  and  make  remarks  about  Brigham,  or  polygamy,  or 
some  other  sacred  matter,  and  the  very  next  morning  at  day- 
light such  parties  are  sure  to  be  found  lying  up  some  back 
alley,  contentedly  waiting  for  the  hearse. 

And  the  next  most  interesting  thing  is  to  sit  and  listen  to 
these  Gentiles  talk  about  polygamy;  and  how  some  portly 
old  frog  of  an  elder,,  or  a  bishop,  marries  a  girl — likes. her, 
marries  her  sister — ^likes  her,  marries  another  sister — likes  her, 
takes  anotlier — ^likes  her,  marries  her  mother — ^likes  her,  mar- 
ries her  father,  grandfather,  great  grandfather,  and  then  comes 
back  hungry  and  asks  for  more.  And  how  'the  pert  young 
thing  of  eleven  will  chance  to  be  the  favorite  wife  and  her 
own  venerable  grandmother  have  to  rank  away  down  toward 
D  4  in  their  mutual  husband's  esteem,  and  have  to  sleep  in 
the  kitchen,  as  like  as  not.  And  how  this  dreadful  sort  of 
thing,  this  hiving  together  in  one  foul  nest  of  mother  and 



daughters,  and  the  making  a  young  daughter  superior  to  hei 
own  mother  in  rank  and  authority,  are  things  which  Mormon 
women  submit  to  because  their  religion  teaches  them  that 

FAVORITE     WIFE     AND     D    4. 

the  more  wives  a  man  has  on  earth,  and  the  more  children  he 
rears,  the  higher  the  place  they  will  all  have  in  the  world  to 
come — and  the  warmer,  maybe,  though  they  do  not  seem  to 
say  anything  about  that. 

According,  to  these  Gentile  friends  of  ours,  Brighaih 
Young's  harem  contains  twenty  or  thirty  wives.  They  said 
that  some  of  them  had  , grown  old  and  gone  out  of  active  ser- 
vice, but  were  comfortably  housed  and  cared  for  in  the  henery 
— or  the  Lion  House,  as  it  is  strangely  named.  Along  with 
each  wife  were  her  children— fifty  altogether.  The  house  was 
perfectly  quiet  and  orderly,  when  the  children  were  stiU. 
Tliey  all  took  their  meals  in  one  room,  and  a  happy  and  hoice- 
like  sight  it  was  pronounced  to  be.     None  of  our  party  got  an 



opportunity  to  take  dinner  with  Mr.  Young;  but  a  Gentile  by 
the  name  of  Johnson  professed  to  have  enjoyed  a  sociable 
breakfast  in  the  Lion  House.  He  gave  a  preposterous  account 
of  the  "  calling  of  the  roll,"  and  other  preliminaries,  and  the 
carnage  that  ensued  when  the  buckwheat  cakes  came  in.  But 
he  embellished  rathef  too  much.  He  said  that  Mr.  Young 
told  him  several  smart  sayings-  of  certain  of  his  "  two-year- 
olds,"  observing  with  some  pride  that  for  many  years  he  had 
been  the  heaviest  contributor  in  that  line  to  one  of  the  East- 
ern magazines ;  and  then  he  wanted  to  show  Mr.  Johnson  one 
of  the  pets  that  had  said  the  last  good  thing,  but  he  could  not 


find  the  child.  He  searched  the  faces  of  the  children  in  de- 
tail, but  could  not  decide  which  one  it  was.  Finally  he  gave 
it  up  with  a  sigh  and  said : 

"  I  thought  I  would  know  the  little  cub  again  but  I 
don't."    Mr.  Johnson  said  further,  that  Mr.  Young  observed 

122  COST    OF    GIFT    TO    No.    6. 

that  life  was  a  sad,  sad  thing — "  because  the  joy  of  every  new 
marriage  a  man  contracted  was  so  apt  to  be  blighted  by  the  in- 
opportune funeral  of  a  less  recent  bride."  And  Mr.  Johnson 
said  that  while  he  ^nd  Mr.  Young  were  pleasantly  conversing 
in  private,  one  of  the  Mrs.  Youngs  came  in  and  demanded  a 
breast-pin,  remarking  that  she  had  found  out  that  he  had  been 
giving  a  breast-pin  to  No.  6,  and  she,  for  one,  did  not  propose 
to  let  this  partiality  go  on  without  making  a  satisfactory 
amount  of  trouble  about  it.  Mr.  Young  reminded  her  that 
there  was  a  stranger  present.  Mrs.  Young  said  that  if  the 
state  of  things  inside  the  house  was  not  agreeable  to  the 
stranger,  he  could  find  room  outside.  Mr.  Young  promised  the 
breast-pin,  and  she  went  away.  But  in  a  minute  or  two 
another  Mrs.  Young  came  ih  and  demanded  a  breast-pin.  Mr. 
Young  began  a  remonstrance,, but  Mrs.  Young  cut  him  short. 
She  said  No.  6  had  got  one,  and  No.  11  was  promised  one, 
and  it  was  "  no  use  for  him  to  try  to  impose  on  her — she  hoped 
she  knew  her  rights."  He  gave  his  promise,  and  she  went. 
And  presently  three  Mrs.  Youngs  entered  in  a  body  and  opened 
on  their  husband  a  tempest  of  tears,  abuse,  and  entreaty. 
They  had  heard  all  about  No.  6,  No.  11,  and  No.  14.  Three 
naore  breast-pins  were  promised.  They  were  hardly  gone 
when  nine  more  Mrs.  Youngs  filed  into  the  presence,  and  a 
new  tempest  burst  forth  and  raged  round  about  the  prophet 
and  his  guest.  Nine  breast-pins  were  promised,  and  the 
weird  sisters  filed  out  again.  And  in  came  eleven  more, 
weeping  and  wailing  and  gnashing  their  teeth.  Eleven  prom- 
ised breast-pins  purchased  peace  once  more. 

"  That  is  a  specimen,"  said  Mr.  Young.  "  You  see  how  it 
is.  You  see  what  a  life  I  lead.  A  man  can't  be  wise  all  the 
time.  In  a  heedless  moment  I  gave  my  darling  No.  6 — excuse 
my  calling  her  thus,  as  her  other  name  has  escaped  me  for  the 
irroment — a  breast-pin.  It  was  only  worth  twenty-five  dollars 
— that  is,  aipparenUy  that  was  its  whole  cost — but  its  ultimate 
cost  was  inevitably  bound  to  be  a  good  deal  more.  You  your- 
self have  seen  it  climb  up  to  six  hundred  and  fifty  dollars — 
and  alas,  even  that  is  not  the  end !    For  I  have  wives  aU  over 

EFFECT    OF    A    PE  NNY- WHISTLE    GIFT.  123 

this  Territory  of  Utah.  I  have  dozens  of  wives  whose  num- 
bers,  even,  I  do  not  know  without  looking  in  the  family  Bible. 
They  are  scattered  far  and  wide  among  the  mountains  and 
valleys  of  my  realm.  And  mark  you,  every  solitary  one  of 
them  will  hear  of  this  wretched  breast  pin,  and  every  last  one 
of  them  will  have  one  or  die.  No.  6's  breast  pin  will  cost 
me  twenty-five  hundred  dollars  before  -I  see  the  end  of  it 
And  these  creatures  will  compare  these  pins  together,  and  if 
one  is  a  shade  finer  than  the  rest,  they  will  all  be  thrown  on 
my  hands,  and  I  will  have  to  order  a  new  lot  to  keep  peace  in 
the  family.  Sir,  you  probably  did  not  know  it,  but  all  the 
time  you  were  present  with  my  children  your  every  movement 
was  watched  by  vigilant  servitors  of  mine.  If  you  had 
offered  to  give  a  child  a  dime,  or  a  stick  of  candy,  or  any  trifle 
of  the  kind,  you  would  have  been  snatched  out  of  the  house 
instantly,  provided  it  could  be  done  before  your  gift  left  your 
hand.  Otherwise  it  would  be  absolutely  necessary  for  you  to 
make  an  exactly  similar  gift  to  all  my  children — and  knowing 
by  experience  the  inlportance  of  the  thing,  I  would  have  stood 
by  and  seen  to  it  myself  that  you  did  it,  and  did  it  thoroughly. 
Once  a  gentleman  gave  one  of  my  children  a  tin  whistle — a 
veritable  invention  of  Satan,  sir,  and  one  which  I  have  an  un- 
speakable horror  of,  and  so  would  you  if  you  had  eighty  or 
ninety  children  in  your  house.  But  the  deed  was  done — the 
man  escaped.  I  knew  what  the  result  was  going  to  be,  and  I 
thirsted  for  vengeance.  I  ordered  out  a  flock  of  Destroying 
Angels,  and  they  hunted  the  man  far  into  the  fastnesses  of  the 
Nevada  mountains.  But  they  never  caught  him.  I  am  not 
cruel,  sir — I  am  not  vindictive  except  when  sorely  outraged — 
but  if  I  had  caught  him,  sir,  so  help  me  Joseph  Smith,  I 
would  have  locked  him  into  the  nursery  till  the  brats  whistled 
him  to  death.  By  the  slaughtered  body  of  St.  Parley  Pratt 
(whom  God  assoil !)  there  was  never  anything  on  this  earth 
like  it  I  /knew  who  gave  the  whistle  to  the  child,  but  I  could 
not  make  those  jealous  mothers  believe  me.  They  believed  / 
did  it,  and  the  result  was  just  what  any  man  of  reflection 
could  have  foreseen :   I  had  to  order  a   hundred  and  tea 



whistles — I  think  we  had  a  hundred  and  ten  children  in  the 
house  then,  but  some  of  them  are  oif  at  College  now — I  had 
to  order  a  hundred  and  ten  of  those  shrieking  things,  and  I 
wish  I  may  never  speak  another  word  if  we  didn't  have  to 
talk  on  our  fingers  entirely,  from  that  time  forth  until  the 
children  got  tired  of  the  whistles.  And  if  ever  another  man 
gives  a  whistle  to  a  child  of  mine  and  I  get  my  hands  on  him, 
I  will  hang  him  higher  than  Haman !  That  is  the  word  with 
the  bark  on  it!  Shade  of  Nephi!  You  don't  know  any- 
thing about  married  life.  I  am  rich,  and  everybody  knows  it. 
I  am  benevolent,  and  everybody  takes  advantage  of  it.  I  have 
a  strong  fatherly  instinct  and  all  the  foundlings  are  foisted  on 
me.  Every  time  a  woman  wants  to  do  well  by  her  darling, 
she  puzzles  her  brain  to  cipher  out  some  scheme-for  getting 


it  into  my  hands.  Why,  sir,  a  woman  came  here  once  with  a 
child  of  a  curious  lifeless  sort  of  complexion  (and  so  had  the 
woman),  and  swore  that  the  child  was  mine  and  she  my  wife — 


that  I  had  married  lier  at  such-and-sucli  a  time  in  such-and- 
such  a  place,  but  she  had  forgotten  her  number,  and  of  course 
I  could  not  remember  her, name,. ^  "Well,  sir,  she  called  mjr 
attention  to  the  fact  that  the  child  looked  like  me,  and  really 
it  did  seem  to  resemble  me— ^a^^^ommon  thing  in  the  Terri- 
tory— and,  to  cut  the  story  short,  I  put  it  in  my  nursery,  and 
she  left.  And  by  the  ghost  of  Orson  Hyde,  when  they  Came 
to  wash  the  paint  off  that  child  it  was  an  Injun !  Elees  my 
soul,  you  don't  know  anything  about  married  life.  It  is  a 
perfect  dog's  life,  sir^ — a  perfect  dog's  life.  You  can't  econo- 
rpize.  It  isn't  possible.  I  have  tried  keeping  one  set  of  bridal 
attire  for  all  occasions.  But  it  is  of  no  use.  First  you'll  marry 
a  combination  of  calico  and  consumption  that's  as  thin  as  a 
rail,  and  next  you'll  get  a  creature  that's  nothiTj^  more  than 
the  dropsy  in  disguise,  and  then  you've  got  to  eke  out  that 
bridal  dress  with  an  old  balloon.  That  is  the  way  it  goes. 
And  think  of  the  wash-bill — (excuse  these  tears) — nine  hun- 
dred and  eighty-four  pieces  a  week  !  No,  sir,  there  is  no  such 
a  thing  as  econoniy  in  a  family  hke  mine.  Why,  just  the  one 
item  of  cradles — think  of  it !  _  And  vermifuge !  Soothing 
syrup!  Teething  rings!  And  'papa's  watches'  for  the 
babies  to  play  with !  And  things  to  scratch*'  the  furni- 
ture with !  And  lucifer  matches  for  them  to  eat,  and 
pieces  of  glass  to  cut  themselves  with !  The  item  of  glass 
alone  would  support  your  family,  I  venture  to  say,  sir.  Let 
me  scrimp  and  squeeze  all  I  can,  I  still  can't  get  ahead  as  fast 
as  I  feel  I  ought  to,  with  my  opportunities.  Bless  you,  sir,  at 
a  time  when  I  had  seventy-two  wives  in  this  house,  I  groaned 
under  the  pressure  of  keeping  thousands^of  dollars  tied  up  in 
seventy-two  bedsteads  when  the  money  ought  to  havfe  been 
out  at  interest ;  and  I  just  sold  out  the  whole  stock,  sir,  at  a 
sacrifice,  and  built  a  bedstead  seven  feet  long  and  ninety-six 
feet  wide.  But  it  was  a  failure,  sir.  I  could  nat  sleep.  It, 
appeared  to  me  that  the  whole  seventy-two  women  shored  at 
once.  The  roar  was  deafening.  And  then  the  danger  of  it ! 
That  was  what  I  was  looking  at.  They  would  all  draw  in 
their  breath  at  once,  and  you  could  actually  see  the  walls  of 



the  house  suck  in — and  then 

they  would  all  exhale  their 
breath  at  once,  and  you 
could  see  the  walls  swell 
out,  and  strain,  and  hear 
the  rafters  crack,  and  the 
shingles  grind  together. 
My  friend^  take  an  old 
man's  advice,  and  dof^ 
encumber  yourself  with 
a  large  family — mind,  I 
tell  you,  don't  do  it.  In 
a  small  family,  and  in  a 
small  family  only,  yon 
will  find  that  comfort 
and  that  peace  of  mind 
which  are  the  best  at  last 
of  the  blessings  this ' 
world  is  able  to  afford 
us,  and  for  the  lack  of 
which  no  accumulation 
of  wealth,  and  no  acqui- 
sition of  fame,  power,  and 
greatness  can  ever  com- 
pensate us.  Take  my 
word  for  it,  ten  or  eleven 
wives  is  all  you  need — 
never  go  over  it." 

Some  instinct  or  other 
made  me  set  this  John- 
son doAPn  as  being  unre- 
liably. And  yet  he  was 
a  very  entertaining  per- 
son, and  I  doubt  if  some 
of  the  information  he 
gave  us  could  have  been 
acquired  fi'om  any  other 
source.    He  was  a  pleas- 

ant contrast  to  those  reticent  Mormons. 


A  LL  men  have  heard  of  the  Mormon  Bible,  but  few  except 
.£\.  the  "  elect"  have  seen  it,  or,  at  least,  taken  the  trouble 
to  read  it.  I  brought  away  a  copy  from  Salt  Lake.  The  book 
is  a  curiosity  to  me,  it  is  such  a  pretentious  alfair,  and  yet  so 
"  slow,"  so  sleepy ;  such  an  insipid  mess  of  inspiration.  It 
is  chloroform  in  print.  If  Joseph  Smith  composed  this  book, 
the  act  was  a  miracle — ^keeping  awake  while  he  did  it  was,  at 
any  rate.  If  he,  according  to  tradition,  merely  translated  it 
from  certain  ancient  and  mysteriously-engraved  plates  of  cop- 
per, which  he  declares  he  found  under  a  stone,  in  an  out-of- 
the-way  locality,  the  work  of  translating  was  equally  a  mira- 
cle, for  the  same  reason. 

.  The  book  seems  to  be  merely  a  prosy  detail  of  imaginary 
history,  with  the  Old  Testament  for  a  model;  followed  by 
a  tedious  plagiarism  of  the  New  Testament.  The  author 
labored  to  give  his  words  and  phrases  the  quaint,  old-fashioned 
sound  and  structure  of  our  King  James's  translsition  of  the 
Scriptures ;  and  the  result  ie  a  mongrel — half  modern  glib- 
ness,  and  half  ancient  simplicity  and  gravity,.*,  The  latter  is 
awkward  and  constrained ;  the  former  natural,  but  grotesque 
by  the  contrast.  Whenever  he  found  his  speech  growing  too 
modern — which  was  about  every  sentence  or  two^he  ladled  in 
a  few  such  Scriptural  phrases  as  "  exceeding  sore,"  "  and  it.  came 
to  pass,"  etc.,  and  made  things  satisfactory  again.     "  And  it 

128  THE    BOOK    OF    MORMON. 

came  to  pass  "  was  his  pet.    If  he  had  left  that  out,  his  Bible 
would  have  been  only  a  pamphlet. 
The  title-page  reads  as  follows : 

The  Book  of  Mormon:  an  account  wbitten  by  the  Hand  of  Moe- 
MON,  UPON  Plates  taken  from  the  Plates  of  Nephi. 
Wherefore  it  is  an  abridgment  of  the  record  of  the  people  of  Nephi, 
and  also  of  the  Lamanites ;  written  to  the  Lamanites,  who  are  a  remnant  of 
the  House  of  Israel ;  and  also  to  Jew  and  Gentile  ;  written  by  way  of  com- 
mandment, and  also  by  the  spirit  of  prophecy  and  of  revelation.  Written 
and  sealed  up,  and  hid  up  unto  the  Lord,  that  they  might  not  be  destroyed ; 
to  come  forth  by  the  gift  and  power  of  God  unto  the  interpretation  thereof ; 
sealed  by  the  hand  of  Moroni,  and  hid  up  unto  the  Lord,  to  come  forth  in 
due  time  by  the  way  of  Gentile ;  the  interpretation  thereof  by  the  gift  of 
God.  An  abridgment  taken  from  the  Book  of  Ether  also ;  which  is  a 
record  of  the  people  of  Jared ;  who  were  scattered  at  the  time  the  Lord 
confounded  the  language  of  the  people  when  they  were  building  a  tower  to 
get  to  Heaven. 

"  Hid  up  "  is  good.  And  so  is  "  wherefore" — ^though  why 
"  wherefore  "  ?  Any  other  word  M'ould  have  answered  as  well 
— though  in  truth  it  would  not  have  sounded  so  Scriptural. 

Next  comes 


Be  it  known  unto  all  nations,  kindreds,  tongues,  and  people  uWo  whom 
this  work  shall  come,  that  we,  through  the  grace  of  God  the  Father,  and 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  have  seen  the  plates  which  contain  this  record,  which 
is  a  record  of  the  people  of  Nephi,  and  also  of  the  Lamanites,  their  breth- 
ren, and  also  of  the  people  of  Jared,  who  came  from  the  tower  of  which 
hath  been  spoken ;  and  we  also  know  that  they  have  been  translated  by  the 
gift  and  pow^r  of  God,  for  His  voice  hath  declared  it  unto  us ;  wherefore 
we  know  of  a  surety  that  the  work  is  true.  And  we  also  testify  that  we 
have  seen  the  engravings  which  are  upon  the  plates ;  and  they  have  been 
shown  unto  us  te  the  power  of  God,  and  not  of  man.  And  we  declare  with 
words  of  Bober^s,  that  an  angel  of  God  came  down  from  heaven,  and  he 
brought  and  laid  before  our  eyes,  that  we  beheld  and  saw  the  plates,  and 
the  engravings  thereon ;  and  we  know  that  it  is  by  the  grace  of  God  the 
Father,  and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  that  we  beheld  and  bear  lecord  that 
these  things  are  true ;  and  it  is  marvellous  in  our  eyes ;  nevertheless  the 
voice  of  the  Lord  commanded  us  that  we  should  bear  .record  of  it ;  where- 
fore, to  be  obedient  unto  the  commandments  of  God,  we  bear'testimony  of 


tlieae  tiings.  And  we  know  that  if  we  are  faithful  in  Christ,  we  shall  rid 
our  garments  of  the  blood  of  all  men,  and  be  found  spotless  before  the 
judgment-seat  of  Christ,  and  shall  dwell  with  Him  eternally  in  the  heavens. 
And  the  honor  be  to  the  Father,  and  to  the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost, 
which  is  one  God.    Amen. 

Olivbr  Cowdert, 
David  Whitmbr, 
Mabtin  Hakbis. 

Some  people  have  to  have  a  world  of  evidence  before  they 
can  come  anfwhere  in  the  neighborhood  of  believing  any- 
thing ;  but  for  me,  .when  a  man  tells  me  that  he  has  "  seen  the 
engravings  which  are  upon  the  plates,"  and  not  only  that,  but 
an  angel  was  there  at  the  time,  and  saw  him  see  them,  and 
probably  |pok  his  receipt  for  it,  I  am  very  far  on  the  road  to 
conviction,  no  matter  whether  I  ever  heard  of  that  m^nj^efore 
or  not,  and  even  if  I  do  not  know  the  name  of  the  j  angel,  or 
his  nationality  either.  ^    ' 

Next  isithis :  t 

andIalso  the  testimont  of  eight  witnesses. 

Be  it  known  unto  all  nations,  kindreds,  tongues,  and  people  unto  whom 
this  work  shall  come,  that  Joseph  Smith,  Jr.,  the  translator  of  this  work, 
has  shown  jiiito  us  the  plates  of  which  hath  been  spoken,  which  have  the 
appearaince  of  gold ;  and  as  many  of  the  leaves  asthe  said  Smith  has  trans- 
lated,'we  did  handle  with  our  hands;  and  we  also  saw;  the  engravings 
thereon,  all  Of  which  has  the  appearance  of  ancient  work,  and  of  curious 
workmajSshipi  And  this  we  bear  record  with  words  of  sobei^^,  that  the  said 
Smith'  has  |lipwn  unto  us,  for  we  have  seen  and  heftemand  know  of  a 
surety^ that  the  said  Smith  has  got  the  plates  of  which' we  ^ve  spoken. 
And  wesffive  our  names  unto  the  world,  to  witness  unto  thsVofld  that  which 
we  have  seen  And  we  lie  not,  God  bearing  witness  of  it^  , , 

^^BRISTIAN  Whitmer,  HmAMJpA;. 

^Jacob  Whitmer,  JosEPmpj^H, Sr., 

_PBter  WnrrMBB,  Jr.,  '  HyeumF^Sm, 

Whixmer,  SamubS'B.  Smith. 

Andswhen  %am  far  on  the  road  to  conviction,  and  eight 
men,  be'  they  gfainmatical  or  otherwise,  come  forward  and  tell 
me  that  1  they  Mve  seen  the  plates  too;  and  not  only  seen 

130  EARLY    MORMONS    ON    A    SPREE. 

those  plates  but  "  hefted  "  them,  I  am  convinced.  I  could  not 
feel  more  satisfied  and  at  rest  if  the  entire  Whitmer  family 
had  testified. 

The  Mormon  Bible  consists  of  fifteen  "books" — ^being  the 
books  of  Jacob,  Enos,  Jarom,  Omni,  Mosiah,  Zeniff,  Alma, 
Helaman,  Ether,  Moroni,  two  "  books  "  of  Mormon,  and  three 
of  Nephi. 

In  the  first  book  of  Nephi  is  a  plagiarism  of  the  Old  Tes- 
tament, which  gives  an  account  of  the  exodus  fi:;x)m  Jerusalem 
of  the  "  children  of  Lehi "  ;  and  it  goes  on  to  tell  of  their 
wanderings  in  the  wilderness,  during  eight  years,  and  their 
supernatural  protection  by  one  of  their  number,  a  party  by  the 
name  of  Nephi.  They  finally  reached  the  land  of  "  Bounti- 
ful," and  camped  by  the  sea.  After  they  had  remained  there 
"  for  the  space  of  many  days  " — which  is  more  Scriptural  than 
definite — Nephi  was  commanded  from  on  high  to  build  a  ship 
wherein  to  "  cany  the  people  across  the  waters."  He  traves- 
tied IToah's  ark — but  he  obeyed  orders  in  the  mjitter  of  the 
plan.  He  finished  the  ship  in  a  single  day,  while^his  breth- 
ren stood  by  and  made  fun  of  it — and  of  him,  to& — "saying, 
our  brother  is  a  fool,  for  he  thinketh  that  he  can  build  a  ship." 
They  did  not  wa,it  for  the  timbers  to  dry,  but  the  whole  tribe 
or  nation  sailed  the  next  day.  Then  a  bit  of  genuine  nature 
cropped  out,  and  is  revealed  by  outspoken  Nephi  with  Script- 
ural frankness — they  all  got  on  a  spree!  They,*" and  also 
their  wives,  began  to  make  themselves  merry,  insomuch  that 
they  began  to  dance,  and  to  sing,  and  to  speak  with  much 
rudeness ;  yea,  ithey  were  lifted  up  unto  exceeding  rudeness." 

ISTephi fried  to  stop  these  scandalous  proceedings;  but  they 
tied  him  n^^'^and  heels,  and  went  on  with  th^  lark.  But 
observe  how'Nephi  the  prophet  circumvented  them  by  the  aid 
of  the  invisible  powers  :  * 

And  it  came  to  pass  that  after  they  had  bound  me,  insomnch  that  I  conld 
not  move,  the  compass,  which  had  been  prepared  of  the  Lord,  did  cease  to 
work  ;  -wherefore,  they  knew  not  whither  they  shonl^  steer  thrf  ship,  inso- 
much that  there  arose  a  great  storm,  yea,  a  great  and  terrfble^mpest,  and 



we  were  driven  back  upon  the  waters  for  the  space  of  three  days ;  and  they 
began  to  be  frightened  exceedingly,  lest  they  should  be  drowned  in  the  sea  ; 
nevertheless  they  did  not  loose  me.  And  on  the  fourth  day,  which  we  had 
been  driven  back,  the  tempest  began  to  be  exceeding  sore. 

And  it  came  to  pass  that  we  were  about  to  be  swallowed  up  in  the 
depths  of  the  sea. 

Then  they  untied  him. 

And  it  came  to  pass  after  they  had  loosed  me,  behold,  I  took  the  compass, 
and  it  did  work  whither  I  desired  it.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  I  prayed 
unto  the  Lord ;  and  after  I  had  prayed,  the  winds  did  cease,  and  the  storm 
did  cease,  and  there  was  a  great  calm. 


Equipped  with  their  compass,  these  ancients  appear  to  have 
had  the  advantage  of  Noah. 


Their  voyage  was  toward  a  "promised  land" — ^the  only 
name  they  give  it.     They  reached  it  in  safety. 

Polygamy  is  a  recent  feature  in  the  Mormon  religion,  and 
was  added  by  Brigham  Young  after  Joseph  Smith's  death. 
Before  that,  it  was  regarded  as  an  "  abomination."     This  verse , 
from  the  Mormon  Bible  occurs  in  Chapter  II.  of  the  book  of 
Jacob : 

For  behold,  thus  Baith  the  Lord,  this  people  begin  to  wax  in  iniquity ; 
tliey  understand  not  the  Scriptures  ;  for  they  seek  to  excuse  themselves  in 
committing  whoredoms,  because  of  the  things  which  were  written  concern, 
ing  David,  and  Solomon  his  son.  Behold,  David  and  Solomon  truly  had 
many  wives  and  concubines,  which  thing  was  abominable  before  me,  salth 
the  Lord ;  wherefore,  thus  saith  the  Lord,  I  have  led  this  people  forth  out 
of  the  land  of  Jerusalem,  by  the  power  of  mine  arm,  that  I  might  raise  up 
unto  me  a  righteous  branch  from  the  fruit  of  the  loins  of  Joseph.  Where- 
fore, I  the  Lord  God,  will  not  suffer  that  this  people  shall  do  like  unto  them 
of  old. 

However,  the  project  failed — or  at  least  the  modem  Mor- 
mon end  of  it — ^for  Brigham  "  suffers  "  it.  This  verse  is  from 
the  same  chapter : 

Behold,  the  Lamanites  your  brethren,  whom  ye  hate,  because  of  their 
filthiness  and  the  cursings  which  hath  come  upon  their  skins,  are  more 
righteous  than  you ;  for  they  have  not  forgotten  the  commandment  of  the 
Lord,  wliich  was  given  unto  our  fathers,  that  they  should  have,  save  it  were 
one  wife  ;  and  concubines  they  should  have  none. 

The  following  verse  (from  Chapter  IX.  of  the  Book  of 
Nephi)  appears  to  contain  information  not  familiar  to  every- 

And  now  it  came  to  pass  that  when  Jesus  had  ascended  into  heaven,  the 
multitude  did  disperse,  and  every  man  did  take  his  wife  and  his  children, 
and  did  return  to  his  own  home. 

And  it  came  to  pass  that  on  the  morrow,  when  the  multitude  was  gath- 
ered together,  behold,  Nephi  and  his  brother  whom  he  had  raised  from  the 
dead,  whose  name  was  Timothy,  and  also  his  son,  whose  name  was  J«(ias, 
and  also  Mathoni,  and  Mathonihah,  his  brother,  and  Kumen,  and  Kumen- 
onhi,  and  Jeremiah,  and  Shemnon,  and  Jonas,  and  JSedekiah,  and  Isaiah ; 
now  these  were  the  names  of  the  disciples  whom  Jesus  had  chosen. 


la  order  that  the  reader  may  observe  how  much  more 
grandeur  and  picturesqueness  (as  seen  by  these  Mormon  twelve) 
accompanied  one  of  the  tenderest  episodes  in  the  Hfe  of  our 
Saviour  than  other  eyes  seem  to  have  been  aware  of,  I  quote 
the  following  from  the  same  "  book  " — Nephi  : 

And  it  came  to  pass  that  Jesus  spake  unto  them,  and  bade  them  arise. 
And  they  arose  from  the  earth,  and  He  said  unto  them.  Blessed  are  ye  be- 
cause of  your  faith.  And  now  behold.  My  joy  is  full.  And  when  He  had 
said  these  words.  He  wept,  and  the  multitude  bear  record  of  it,  and  He  took 
their  little  children,  one  by  one,  and  blessed  them,  and  prayed  unto  the 
Father  for  them.  And  when  He  had  done  this  He  wept  again,  and  He  spake 
onto  the  multitude,  and  saith  unto  them,  Behold  your  little  ones.  And  as 
they  looked  to  behold,  they  cast  their  eyes  toward  heaven,  and  they  saw 
tlie  heavens  open,  and  they  saw  angels  descending  out  of  heaven  as  it  were, 
in  the  midst  of  fii'e ;  and  they  came  down  and  encircled  those  little  ones 
about,  and  they  were  encircled  about  with  fire  ;  and  the  angels  did  minister 
unto  them,  and  the  multitude  did  see  and  hear  and  bear  record ;  and  they 
know  that  their  record  is  true,  for  they  all  of  them  did  see  and  hear,  every 
man  for  himself;  and  they  were  in  number  about  two  thousand  and  five 
hundred  souls ;  and  they  did  consist  of  men,  women,  and  children. 

And  what  else  would  they  be  likely  to  consist  of? 

The  Book  of  Ether  is  an  incomprehensible  medley  of  "his- 
toiy,"  much  of  it  relating  to  battles  and  sieges  among  peoples 
whom  the  reader  has  possibly  never  heard  of;  and  who  inhabited 
a  country  which  is  not  set  down  in  the  geography.  There  was 
a,  King  with  the  remarkable  name  of  Coriantumr,  and  he 
warred  with  Shared^  and  Lib,  and  Shiz,  and  others,  in  the 
"plains  of  Heshlon";  and  the  "  valley  of  Gilgal";  and  the 
"  wilderness  of  Akish  " ;  and  the  "  land  of  Moran  "  ;  and  the 
"  plains  of  Agosh  " ;  and  "  Ogath,"  and  "  Eamah,"  and  the 
"  land  of  Corihor,"  and  the  "  hill  Comnor,"  by  "  the  waters 
of  Ripliancum,"  etc.,  etc.,  etc.  "  And  it  came  to  pass,"  after 
a  deal  of  fighting,  that  Coriantumr,  upon  making  calculation 
of  his  losses,  found  that  "  there  had  been  slain  two  millions  of 
mighty  men,  and  also  their  wives  and  their  children  " — say 
5,000,000  or  6,000,000  in  all— "and  he  began  to  son-ow  in  his 
heart."  Unquestionably  it  was  time.  So  he  wrote  to  Shiz, 
asking  a  cessation  of  hostilities,  and  offering  to  give  up  his 

134  AK    ANCIENT    BATTLE. 

kingdom  to  save  his  people.  Sliiz  declined,  except  upon  con- 
dition that  Coriantumr  -would  come  and  let  him  cut  his  head 
off  first — a  thing  which  Coriantumr  would  not  do.  Then 
there  was  more  fighting  for  a  season  ;  ^enfour  years  were  de- 
voted to  gathering  the  forces  for  a  final  struggle — after  which 
ensued  a  battle,  which,  I  take  it,  is  the  most  remarkable  set 
forth  in  history, — except,  perhaps,  that  of  the  Kilkenny  cats, 
which  it  resembles  in  some  respects.  This  is  the  account  of 
the  gathering  and  the  battle : 

7.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  they  did  gather  together  all  the  people,  npon 
all  the  face  of  the  land,  who  had  not  been  slain,  save  it  was  Ether.  And  it 
came  to  pass  that  Ether  did  behold  all  the  doings  of  the  people  ;  and  he  be- 
held that  the  people  who  were  'for  Coriantumr,  were  gathered  together  to 
the  army  of  Coriantumr ;  and  the  people  who  were  for  Shiz,  were  gathered 
together  to  the  army  of  Shiz ;  wherefore  they  were  for  the  space  of  four 
years  gathering  together  the  people,  that  they  might  get  all  who  were  upon 
the  face  of  the  land,  and  that  they  might  receive  all  the  strength  which  it 
was  possible  that  they  could  receive.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  when  they 
were  all  gathered  together,  every  one  to  the  army  which  he  would,  with 
their  wives  and  their  children ;  both  men,  women,  and  children  being  armed 
with  weapons  of  war,  having  shields,  and  breast-plates,  and  head-plates,  and 
being  clothed  after  the  manner  of  war,  they  did  march  forth  one  against 
another,  to  battle  ;  and  they  fought  all  that  day,  and  conquered  not.  And  it 
came  to  pass  that  when  it  was  night  they  were  weary,  and  retired  to  their 
camps  ;  and  after  they  had  retired  to  their  camps,  they  took  up  a  howling 
and  a  lamentation  for  the  loss  of  the  slain  of  their  people ;  and  bo  great 
were  their  cries,  their  liowlings  and  lamentations,  that  it  did  rend  the  air 
exceedingly.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  on  the  morrow  they  did  go  again  to 
battle,  and  great  and  terrible  was  that  day ;  nevertheless  they  conquered  not, 
and  when  the  night  came  again,  they  did  rend  the  air  with  their  cries,  and 
their  bowlings,  and  their  mournings,  for  the  loss  of  the  slain  of  their 

8.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  Coriantumr  wrote  again  an  epistle  unto  Shiz, 
desiring  that  he  would  not  come  again  to  battle,  but  that  he  would  take  the 
kingdom,  and  spare  the  lives  of  the  people.  But  behold,  the  Spirit  of  the 
Lord  had  ceased  striving  with  them,  and  Satan  had  full  power  over  the 
hearts  of  the  people,  for  they  were  given  up  unto  the  hardness  of  their 
hearts,  and  the  blindness  of  their  minds  that  thoy  might  be  destroyed; 
wherefore  they  went  again  to  battle.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  they  fought 
all  that  day,  and  when  the  night  came  they  slept  upon  their  swords  ;  and  on 
the  morrow  they  fought  even  until  the  night  came  ;  and  when  the  night 
came  they  were  drunken  with  anger,  even  as  a  man  who  is  drunken  with 


wine ;  and  they  slept  again  upon  their  swords ;  and  on  the  morrow  tliey 
fought  again ;  and  when  the  night  came  they  had  all  fallen  by  the  sword 
save  it  were  fifty  and  two  of  the  people  of  Coriantumr,  and  sixty  and  nine 
of  the  people  of  Shiz.  And  it  came  tojpass  that  they  slept  upon  their 
swords  that  night,  and  on  the  morrow  they  fought  again,  and  they  contended 
in  their  mights  with  their  swords,  and  with  their  shields,  all  that  day  ;  and 
when  the  night  came  there  were  thirty  and  two  of  the  people  of  Shiz,  and 
twenty  and  seven  of  the  people  of  Coriantumr. 

9.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  they  ate  and  slept,  and  prepared  for  death  on 
the  morrow.  And  they  were  large  and  mighty  men,  as  to  the  strength  of 
men.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  they  fought  for  the  space  of  three  hours, 
and  they  fainted  with  the  loss  of  blood.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  when 
the  men  of  Coriantumr  had  received  sufficient  strength,  that  they  could 
walk,  they  were  about  to  flee  for  their  lives,  but  behold,  Shiz  arose, 
and  also  his  men,  and  he  swore  in  his  wrath  that  he  would  slay  Coriantumr, 
or  he  would  -perish  by  the  sword  :  wherefore  he  did  pursue  them,  and  on 
the  morrow  he  did  overtake  them ;  and  they  fought  again  with  the  sword. 
And  it  came  to  pass  that  when  they  had  all  fallen  by  the  sword,  save  it 
were  Coriantumr  and  Shiz,  behold  Shiz  had  fainted  with  loss  of  blood. 
And  it  came  to  pass  that  when  Coriantumr  had  leaned  vipon  his  sword,  that 
he  rested  a  little,  he  smote  off  the  head  of  Shiz.  And  it  came  to  pass  that 
after  he  had  smote  off  the  head  of  Shiz,  that  Shiz  raised  upon  his  hands 
and  fell ;  and  after  that  he  had  struggled  for  breath,  he  died.  And  it  came 
to  pass  that  Coriantumr  fell  to  the  earth,  and  became  as  if  he  had  no 
life.  And  the  Lord  spake  unto  Ether,  and  said  unto  him,  go  forth.  And  he 
went  forth,  and  beheld  that  the  words  of  the  Lord  had  all  been  fulfilled ; 
and  he  finished  his  record ;  and  the  hundredth  part  I  have  not  written. 

It  seems  a  pity  he  did  not  finisli,  for  after  all  his  dreary 
former  chapters  of  commonplace,  he  stopped  just  as  he  was  in 
danger  of  becoming  interesting. 

The  Mormon  Bible  is  rather  stupid  and  tiresome  to  read, 
but  there  is  nothing  vicious  in  its  teachings.  Its  code  of 
morals  is  Ainobjectionable — it  is  "  smouched  "  *  from  the  Kew 
T*5Pt»ment  and  no  credit  given. 



AT  the  end  of  our  two  days'  sojourn,  we  left  Great  Salt 
Lake  City  hearty  and  well  fed  and  liappy — ^physically 
superb  but  not  so  very  much  wiser,  as  regards  the  "  Mormon 
question,"  than  we  were  when  we  arrived,  perhaps.  We  had 
a  deal  more  "  information"  than  we  had  before,  of  course,  but 
we  did  not  know  what  portion  of  it  was  reliable  and  what  was 
not — for  it  all  came  from  acquaintances  of  a  day — strangers, 
strictly  spealdng.  We  were  told,  for  instance,  that  the  dreadful 
"  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre  "  was  the  work  of  the  Indians 
entirely,  and  that  the  Gentiles  had  meanly  tried  to  fasten  it 
upon  the  Mormons;  we  were  told,  likewise,  that  the  Indians 
were  to  blame,  partly,  and  partly  the  Mormons ;  and  we  were 
told,  likewise,  and  just  as  positively,  that  the  Mormons  were 
almost  if  not  wholly  and  completely  responsible  for  that  most 
treacherous  and  pitiless  butchery.  We  got  the  story  in  all 
these  different  shapes,  but  it  was  not  till  several  years  after- 
ward that  Mrs.  Waite's  book,  "  The  Mormon  Prophet,"  came 
out  with  Judge  Cradlebaugh's  trial  of  the  accused  parties  in 
it  and  revealed  the  truth  that  the  latter  version  was  the  cor- 
rect one  and  that  the  Mormons  were  the  assassins.  All  our 
"  information  "  had  three  sides  to  it,  and  so  I  gave  up  the  idea 
that  I  could  settle  the  "  Mormon  question  "  in  two  days.  StiU 
I  have  seen  newspaper  correspondents  do  it  in  one. 

I  left  Great  Salt  Lake  a  good  deal  confused  as  to  what 
state  of  things  existed  there — and  sometimes  even  questioning 
in  my  own  mind  whether  a  state  of  things  existed  there  at  all 

IN    A    PIONEER    LAND. 


or  not.  But  presently  I  remembered  witli  a  lightening  sense 
of  relief  that  we  had  learned  two  or  three  trivial  things  there 
which  we  could  be  certain  of;  and  so  the  two  days  were  not 
wholly  lost.  For  instance,  we  had  learned  that  we  were  at  last 
in  a  pioneer  land,  in  absolute  and  tangible  reality.     The  high 


prices  charged  for  trifles  were  eloquent  of  high  freights  and 
bewildering  distances  of  freightage.  In  the  east,  in  those  days, 
the  smallest  moneyed  denomination  was  a  penny  and  it  repre- 
sented the  smallest  purchasable  quantity  of  any  commodity. 
West  of  Cincinnati  the  smallest  coin  in  use  was  the  silver  five- 
cent  piece  and  no  smaller  quantity  of  an  article  could  be 
bought  than  "  five  cents'  worth."  In  Overland  City  the  low 
est  coin  appeared  to  be  the  ten-cent  piece ;  but  in  Salt  Lake 
there  did  not  seem  to  be  any  money  in  circulation  smaller 
than  a  quarter,  or  any  smaller  quantity  purchasable  of  any 
commodity  than  twenty-five  cents'  worth.  "We  had  always 
been  used  to  half  dimes  and  "  five  cents'  worth  "  as  the  mini- 
mum  of  financial  negotiations ;  but  in  Salt  Lake  if  one  wanted 
a  cigar,  it  was  a  quarter ;  if  he  wanted  a  chalk  pipe,  it  was  a 


quarter;  if  he  wanted  a  peach,  or  a  candle,  or  a  newspaper, 
or  a  shave,  or  a  little  Gentile  whiskey  to  rub  on  his  corns  to 
arrest  indigestion  and  keep  him  from  having  the  toothache, 
twenty-five  cents  was  the  price,  every  time.  When  we  looked 
at  the  shot-bag  of  silver,  now  and  then,  we  seemed  to  be 

N.  York.  St.  Louis.      Overland  City.        Salt  Lake  City. 

ICont.  5  Cents.  lOCtmts.  25  Cents. 


wasting  our  substance  in  riotous  living,  but  if  we  refeiTed  to 
the  expense  account  we  could  see  that  we  had  not  been  doing 
anything  of  the  kind.  But  people  easily  get  reconciled  to 
big  money  and  big  prices,  and  fond  and  vain  of  both — it  is  a 
descent  to  little  coins  and  cheap  prices  that  is  hardest  to  bear 
and  slowest  to  take  hold  upon  one's  toleration.  After  a 
month's  acquaintance  with  the  twenty-five  cent  minimum,  the 
average  human  being  is  ready  to  blush  every  time  he  thinks  of 
his  despicable  five-cent  days.  How  sunburnt  with  blushes  I 
used  to  get  in  gaudy  Nevada,  every  time  I  thought  of  my  first 
financial  expei-ience  in  Salt  Lake.  It  M^as  on  this  wise  (which 
is  a  favorite  expression  of  great  authors,  and  a  very  neat  one, 
too,  but  I  never  hear  anybody  say  on  this  wise  when  they  are 
talking).  A  young  half-breed  with  a  complexion  like  a  yellow- 
jacket  asked  me  if  I  would  have  my  boots  blacked.  It  was 
at  the  Salt  Lake  House  the  morning  after  we  arrived.  I  said 
yes,  and  he  blacked  them.  Then  I  handed  him  a  silver  five- 
cent  piece,  with  the  benevolent  air  of  a  person  who  is  confer- 
ring wealth  and  blessedness  upon  poverty  and  suffering.  The 
yellow-jacket  took  it  with  what  I  judged  to  be  suppressed 
emotion,  and  laid  it  reverently  down  in  the  middle  of  his 
broad  hand.  Then  he  began  to  contemplate  it,  much  as  a 
philosopher  contemplates  a  gnat's  ear  in  the  ample  field  of 



his  microscope.  Several  mountaineers,  teamsters,  stage-drivers, 
etc.,  drew  near  and  dropped  into  the  tableau  and  fell  to 
surveying  the  money  with  that  attractive  indifference  to  for- 
mality "which  is  noticeable  in  the  hardy  pioneeri  Presently  the 
yeUow-japket  handed  the  half  dime  back  to  me  and  told  me  I 
OTight  to  keep  my  money  in  my  pocket-book  instead  of  in 
my  soul,  and  then 
I  wouldn't  get  it 
cramped  and  shriv- 
eled up  so ! 

What  a  roar  of 
vulgar  laughter 
there  was!  I  de- 
■  stroyed  the  mongrel 
reptile  on  the  spot, 
but  I  smiled  and 
smiled  all  the  time 
I  was  detaching  his 
scalp,  for  the  re- 
mark he  made  was 
good  for  an  "  In- 

Yes,  we  had 
learned  in  Salt  Lake 
to  be  charged  great 
prices  without  letting  the  inward  shudder  appear  on  the  sur- 
face— for  even  already  we  had  overheard  and  noted  the  tenor 
of  conversations  among  drivers,  conductors,  and  hostlers,  and 
finally  among  citizens  of  Salt  Lake,  until  we  were  well  aware 
that  these* superior  beings  despised  "emigrants."  We  per- 
mitted no  tell-tale  shudders  and  winces  in  our  countenances, 
for  we  wanted  to  seem  pioneers,  or  Mormons,  half-breeds, 
teamsters,  stage-drivers.  Mountain  Meadow  assassins — anything 
in  the  world  that  the  plains  and  Utah  respected  and  admired — 
but  we  were  wretchedly  ashamed  of  being  "  emigrants,"  and 
Borry  enough  that  we  had  white  shirts  and  could  not  swear  in 
the  presence  of  ladies  without  looking  the  other  way. 

And  many  a  time  in  Nevada,  afterwards,  we  had  occasion 




to  remember  with  humiliation  that  we  were  "  emigrants,"  and 
consequently  a  low  and  inferior  sort  of  creatures.  Perhaps 
the  reader  has  visited  Utah,  Nevada,  or  California,  even  in 
these  latter  days,  and  while  communing  with  himself  upon  the 
sorrowful  banishment  of  those  countries  from  what  he  con- 
siders "  the  world,"  has  had  his  wings  clipped  by  finding  that 
he  is  the  one  to  be  pitied,  and  that  there  are  entire  popular 
tions  around  him  ready  and  willing  to  do  it  for  him — ^yea,  who 

are  complacently  doing  it 
for  him  already,  v/herever 
he  steps  his  foot.-  Poor 
thing,  they  are  making  fun 
of  his  hat ;  and  the  cut  of 
his  Ifew  Tork  coat;  and 
his  conscientiousness  about 
his  grammar;  and  his  feeble 
profanity ;  and  his  consum- 
ingly  ludicrous  ignorance  of 
ores,  shafts,  tunnels,  and 
other  things  which  he  never 
saw  before,  and  never  felt 
enough  interest  in  to  read 
about.  And  all  the  time 
that  he  is  thinking  what  a  sad  fate  it  is  to  be  exiled  to  that 
far  country,  that  lonely  land,  the  citizens  around  him  are  look- 
ing down  on  him  with  a  blighting  compassion  because  he  is 
an  "  emigrant "  instead  of  that  proudest  and  blessedest  crea- 
ture that  exists  on  all  the  earth,  a  "  Foety-Ninee." 

The  accustomed  coach  life  began  again,  now,  and  by  mid- 
night it  almost  seemed  as  if  we  never  had  been  out  of  our 
snuggery  among  the  mail  sacks  at  all.  We  had  made  one  alter- 
ation, however.  We  had  provided  enough  bread,  boiled  ham 
and  hard  boiled  eggs  to  last  double  the  six  hundred  miles  of 
staging  we  had  still  to  do. 

And  it  was  comfort  in  those  succeeding  days  to  sit  up 
and  contemplate  the  majestic  panorama  of  mountains  and 
valleys  spj-ead  out  below  us  and  eat  ham  and  hard  boiled 



eggs  while  our  spiritual  natures  revelled  alternately  in  rain- 
bows, thunderstorms,  and  peerless  sunsets.  Nothing  helps 
scenery  like  ham  and  eggs.  Ham  and  eggs,  and  after  these  a 
pipe— an  old,  rank,  dehcious  pipe — ham  and  eggs  and  scenery, 
a  "  down  grade,"  a  flying  coach,  a  fragrant  pipe  and  a  con- 
tented heart — these  make  happiness.  It  is  what  all  the  ages 
have  struggled  for. 

'^^a^^'^-S-^^'^"^  '-^^ 



-•i-^    '    .  A  -A 


AT  eight  ill  the  morning  we  reached  the  remnant  and  ruin 
of  wiiat  had  been  the  important  military  station  of 
"  Camp  Floyd,"  some  forty-five  or  fifty  miles  from  Salt  Lake 
City.  At  four  p.m.  we  had  doubled  our  distance  and  were 
ninety  or  a  hundred  miles  from  Salt  Lake.  And  now  we 
entered  upon  one' of  that  species  of  deserts  whose  concentrated 
hideousness  shames  the  difiiised  and  diluted  horrors  of  Sahara 
— an  ^^ alkali"  desert.  For  sixty-eight  miles  there  was  but 
one  break  in  it.  I  do  not  remember  that  this  was  really  a 
break ;  indeed  it  seems  to  me  that  it  was  nothing  but  a  water- 
ing depot  in  the  midst  of  the  stretch  of  sixty-eight  miles.  If 
my  memory  serves  me,  there  was  no  well  or  spring  at  this 
place,  but  the  water  was  hauled  there  by  mule  and  ox  teams 
from  the  further  side  of  the  desert.  There  was  a  stage  station 
there.  It  was  forty-five  miles  from  the  beginning  of  the 
desert,  and  twenty-three  from  the  end  of  it. 

"We  plowed  and  dragged  and  groped  along,  the  whole  live- 
long night,  and  at  the  end  of  this  uncomfortable  twelve  hours 
we  finished  the  forty-five-mile  part  of  the  desert  and  got  to 
the  stage  station  where  the  imported  water  was.  The  sun 
was  just  rising.  It  was  easy  enough  to  cross  a  desert  in  the 
night  while  we  were  asleep ;  and  it  was  pleasant  to  reflect,  in 
the  morning,  that  we  in  actual  person  had  encountered  an 
absolute  desert  and  could  always  speak  knowingly  of  deserts 
in. presence  of  the  ignorant  thenceforward.    And  it  was  pleafr- 

A    REAL    DESERT    BY    DAYLIGHT.  143 

ant  also  to  reflect  that  this  was  not  an  obscure,  back  country 
desert,  but  a  very  celebrated  one,  the  metropolis  itself,  as  you 
may  say.  All  this  was,  very  well  and  very  comfortable  and 
satisfactory — but  now  we  were  to  cross  a  desert  in  daylight. 
This  was  fine — novel — romantic — dramatically  adventurous — 
this,  indeed,  was  worth  living  for,  worth  traveling  for !  "We 
would  write  home  all  about  it. 

This  enthusiasm,  this  stern  thirst  for  adventure,  wilted 
under  the  sultry  August  sun  and  did  not  last  above  one  hour. 
One  poor  little  hour — and  then  we  were  ashamed  that  we 
had  "  gushed  "  so.  The  poetry  was  all  in  the  anticipation — 
there  is  none  in  the  reality.  Imagine  a  vast,  waveless  ocean 
stricken  dead  and  turned  to  ashes ;  imagine  this  solemn  waste 
tufted  with  ash-dusted  sage-bushes ;  imagine  the  lifeless  silence 
aiid  solitude  that  belong  to  such  a  place;  imagine  a  coach, 
creeping  like  a  bug  through  the  midst  of  this  shoreless  level, 
and  sending  up  tumbled  volumes  of  dust  as  if  it  were  a  bug 
that  went  by  steam ;  imagine  this  aching  monotony  of  toiling 
and  plowing  kept  up  hour  after  hour,  and  the  shore  still  as  far 
away  as  ever,  apparently ;  imagine  team,  driver,  coach  and 
passengers  so  deeply  coated  with  ashes  that  they  are  all  one 
colorless  color;  imagine  ash-drifts  roosting  above  moustaches 
and  eyebrows  like  snow  accumulations  on  boughs  and  bushes. 
This  is  the  reality  of  it. 

The  sun  beats  down  with  dead,  blistering,  relentless 
malignity ;  the  perspiration  is  welling  from  every  pore  in  man 
and  beast,  but  scarcely  a  sign  of  it  finds  its  way  to  the  surface 
— it  is  absorbed  before  it  gets  there ;  there  is  not  the  faintest 
breath  of  air  stin-ing ;  there  is  not  a  merciful  shred  of  cloud 
in  all  the  brilliant  firmament ;  there  is  not  a  living  creature 
visible  in  any  direction  whither  one  searches  the  blank  level 
that  stretches  its  monotonous  miles  on  every  hand ;  there  is 
not  a  sound — not  a  sigh — not  a  whisper — not  a  buzz,  or  a  whir 
of  wings,  or  distant  pipe  of  bird — not  even  a  sob  from  the 
lost  souls  that  doubtless  people  that  dead  air.  And  so  the 
occasional  sneezing 'of  the  resting  mules,  and  the  champing  of 


tlie  bits,  grate  harshly  on  the  grim  stillness,  not  dissipating 
the  spell  but  accenting  it  and  making  one  feel  more  lonesome 
and  forsaken  than  before. 

The  mules,  under  violent  swearing,  coaxing  and  whip- 
cracking,  would  make  at  stated  intervals  a  "  spurt,"  and  drag 
the  coach  a  hundred  or  may  be  two  hundred  yards,  stirring 
up  a  billowy  cloud  of  dust  that  rolled  back,  enveloping  the 
vehicle  to  the  wheel-tops  or  higher,  and  making  it  seem  afloat 
in  a  fog.  Then  a  rest  followed,  with  the  usual  sneezing  and- 
bit-champing.  Then  another  "  spurt "  of  a  hundred  yards  and 
another  rest  at  the  end  of  it.  All  day  long  we  kept  this  up, 
without  water  for  the  mules  and  without  ever  changing  the 
team.  At  least  we  kept  it  up  ten  hours,  which,  I  take  it,  is  a 
day,  and  a  pretty  honest  one,  in  an  alkali  desert.  It  was  from 
four  in  the  morning  till  two  in  the  afternoon.  And  it  was  so 
hot !  and  so  close  \  and  our  water  canteens  went  dry  in  the 
middle  of  the  day  and  we  got  so  thirsty !  It  was  so  stupid 
and  tiresome  and  dull!  and  the  tedious  hours  did  lag  and 
drag  and  limp  along  with  such  a  cruel  deliberation !  It  was 
so  trying  to  give  one's  watch  a  good  long  undisturbed  speU 
and  then  take  it  out, and  find  that  it  had  been  fooling  away 
the  time  and  not  trying  to  get'  ahead  any !  The  alkali  dust 
cut  through  our  lips,  it  persecuted  our  eyes,  it  ate  through  the 
delicate  membranes  and  made  om-  noses  bleed  and  kej)t  thetei 
bleeding — and  truly  and  serioiisly  the  romance  all  faded  far 
away  and  disappeared,  and  left  the  desert  trip  nothing  but  a 
harsh  reality — a  thirsty,  sweltering,  longing,  hateful  reality ! 

Two  miles  and  a  quarter  an  hour  for  ten  hours — that' was 
what  we  accomplished.  It  was  hard  to  bring  the  comprehen- 
sion away  down  to  such  a  snail-pace  as  that,  when  we  had  been 
used  to  making  eight  and  ten  miles  an  hour.  "When  we 
reached  the  station  on  the  farther  verge  of  the  desert,  we  were 
glad,  for  the  first  time,  that  the  dictionary  was  along,  because 
we  never  could  have  found  language  to  tell  how  glad  we  were, 
in  any  sort  of  dictionary  but  an  unabridged  one  with  pictures 
in  it.    But  there  could  not  have  been  fou»d  in  a  whole  library 



cf  dictionaries  language  sufficient  to  tell  how  tired  those  mulea 
were  after  their  twenty-three  mile  pull.  To  try  to  give  the 
reader  an  idea  of  how  ihvrsty  they  were,  would  be  to  "  gild 
refined  gold  or  paint  the  lily." 

Somehow,  now  that  it  is  there,  the  quotation  does  not 
seem  to  fit — ^but  no  matter,  let  it  stay,  anyhow.  I  think  it  is 
a  graceful  and  attractive  thing,  and  therefore  have  tried  time 
and  time  again  to  work  it  in  where  it  would  fit,  but  could  not 
succeed.  These  efforts  have  kept  my  mind  distracted  and  ill 
at  ease,  and  made  my  narrative  seem  broken  and  disjointed, 
in  places.  Under  these  circumstances  it  seems  to  me  best  to 
leave  it  in,  as  above,  since  this  will  afford  at  least  a  temporary 
respite  fi*om  the  wear  and  tear  of  trying  to  "  lead  up  "  to  this 
really  apt  and  beautiful  quotation. 



ON  the  morning  of  the  sixteenth  day  out  from  St.  Joseph 
we  arrived  at  the  entrance  of  Rocky  Canyon,  two  hun^ 
dred  and.  fifty  miles  from  Salt  Lake.  It  was  along  in  this 
wild  country  somewhere,  and  far  from  any  habitation  of  white 
men,  except  the  stage  stations,  that  we  came  across  the  wreteh- 
edest  type  of  mankind  I  have  ever  seen,  up  to  this  writing.  I 
refer  to  the  Goshoot  Indians.  From  what  we  could  see  and 
all  we  could  learn,  they  are  very  considerably  inferior  to  even 
the  despised  Digger  Indians  of  California  ;  inferior  to  aU  races 
of  savages  on  our  continent ;  inferior  to  even  the  Terra  del 
Euegans;  inferior  to  the  Hottentots,  and  actually  inferior  in 
some  respects  to  the  Kytches  of  Africa.  Indeed,  I  have  been 
obliged  to  look  the  bulky  volumes  of  Wood's  "  Uncivilized 
Races  of  Men"  clear  through  in  order  to  find  a  savage  tribe 
degraded  enough  to  take  rank  with  the  Goshoots.  I  find  but 
one  people  fairly  open  to  that  shameful  verdict.  It  is  the  BoB- 
jesmans  (Bushmen)  of  South  Africa.  Such  of  the  Goshoots 
as  we  saw,  along  the  road  and  hanging  about  the  stations, 
were  small,  lean,  "scrawny"  creatures;  in  complexion  a  dull 
black  like  the  ordinary  American  negro ;  their  faces  and  hands 
bearing  dirt  which  they  had  been  hoarding  and  accumulating 
for  months,  years,  and  even  generations,  according  to  the  age 
of  the  proprietor;  a  silent,  sneaking,  treacherous  looking  race; 
taking  nqte  of  everything,  covertly,  like  all  the  other  "  Noble 
Eed  Men  "  that  we  (do  not)  read  about,  and  betraying  no  sign  in 
their  countenances ;  indolent,  everlastingly  patient  and  tireless, 
like  all  other  Indians ;  prideless  beggars — for  if  the  beggar  in- 



stinct  were  left  out  of  an  Indian  he  would  not  "  go,"  any  more 
than  a  clock  without  a  pendulum ;  hungry,  always  hungry, 
and  yet  never  refusing  anything  that  a  hog  would  eat,  though 
often  eating  what  a  hog  would  decline ;  hunters,  but  having 

_^^^      .^^ no  higher 

than  to  kill 
andeat  jack- 
ass rabbits, 


crickets  and  grasshoppers,  an,d  embezzle  cari'ion  from  the  buz- 
zards and  cayotes ;  savages  who,  when  asked  if  they  have  the 
common  Jn,dian  belief  in  a  Great  Spirit  show  a  something 
which  almost  amounts  to  emotion,  thinking  whiskey  is  referred 
to ;  a  thin,  scattering  race  of  almost  naked  black  children,  these 
Goshoots  are,  who  produce  nothing  at  all,  and  have  no  villages, 
and  no  gatherings  together  into  strictly  defined  tribal  com- 
munities— a  people  whose  only  shelter  is  a  rag  cast  on  a  bush 
to  keep  oil  a  portion  of  the  snow,  and  yet  who  inhabit  one  of 
the  most  rocky,  wintry,  repulsive  wastes  that  our  country  or 
any  other  can  exhibit. 

The  Bushmen  and  our  Goshoots  are  manifestly  descended 
from  the  self-same  gorilla,  or  kangaroo,  or  Norway  rat,  which- 
ever animal-Adam  the  Darwinians  trace  them  to. 

One  would  as  soon  expect  the  rabbits  to  fight  as  the 

,148      A    BRAVE    DRIVEE    AND    TERRIFIED    JUDGE. 

Gostoots,  and  yet  they  used  to  live  off  the  offal  and  refuse 
of  the  stations  a  few  months  and  then  come  some  dark 
night  when  no  mischief  was  expected,  and  bum  down  the 
buildings  and  kill  the  men  from  ambush  as  they  rushed 
out.  And  once,  in  the  night,  they  attacked  the  stage-coach 
when  a  District  Judge,  of  Nevada  Territory,  was  the  only 
passenger,  and  with  their  first  volley  of  arrows  (and  a  bullet 
or  two)  they  riddled  the  stage  curtains,  wounded  a  horse  or 
two  and  mortally  wounded  the  driver.  The  latter  was  full 
of  pluck,  and  so  was  his  passenger.  At  the  driver's  call 
Judge  Mott  swung  himself  out,  clambered  to  the  box  and 
seized  the  reins  of  the  team,  and  away  they  plimged,  through 
the  racing  mob  of  skeletons  and  under  a  hurtling  storm  of 
missiles.  The  stricken  driver  had  sunk  down  on  the  boot  as 
soon  as  he  was  wounded,  but  had  held  on  to  the  reins  and 
said  he  would  manage  to  keep  hold  of  them  until  relieved. 

Ai^.^after  they 
werie'  taken  from 
his  relaxing 
grasp,  he  lay  with 
his  head  between 
Judge  Mott's 
feet,  and  tran- 
quilly gave  direc- 
tions about  the 
road;  he  said  he 
believed  he  could 
live  till  the  mis- 
creants were  out- 
run and  left  be- 
hind, and  that  if 
he  managed  that, 

THE  DRIVE    rOB  UFB.  .1  .      j-/c„„l*„ 

the  mam  dimculty 
would  be  at  an  end,  and  then  if  the  Judge  drove  so  and  so 
(giving  directions  about  bad  places  in  the  road,  and  general 
course)  he  would  reach  the  next  station  without  trouble.  The 
Judge  distanced  the  enemy  and  at  last  rattled  up  to  the 
station  and  knew  that  the  night's  perils  were  done;  but 

THE    RED    MEN    SLAKDEEED.  149 

there  was  no  comrade-in-arms  for  liim  to  rejoice  with,  for  the 
soldierly  driver  was  dead. 

Let  us  forget  that  we  have  been  saying  harsh  things  about 
the  Overland  drivers,  now.  The  disgust  which  the  Goshoota 
gave  me,  a  disciple  of  Cooper  and  a  worshipper  of  the  Eed 
Man — even  of  the  scholarly  savages  in  the  "  Last  of  the  Mo- 
hicans" who  ai'e  fittingly  associated  with  backwoodsmen 
who  divide  each  sentence  into  two  equal  parts :  one  part  crit- 
ically grammatical,  refined  and  choice  of  language,  and  the 
other  part  just  such  an  attempt  to  talk  like  a  hunter  or  a 
mountaineer,  as  a  Broadway  clerk  might  make  after  eating  an 
edition  of  Emerson  Bennett's  works  and  studying  frontier 
life  at  the  Bowery  Theatre  a  couple  of  weeks — I  say  that  the 
nausea  which  the  Goshoots  gave  me,  an  Indian  worshipper, 
set  me  to  examining  authorities,  to  see  if  perchance  I  had  been 
over-estimating  the  Red  Man  while  viewing  him  through  the 
mellow  moolfthine  of  romance.  The  revelations  that  came 
were  disenchanting.  It  was  curious  to  seQ  how  quickly  the 
paint  and  tinsel  fell  away  from  him  and  left  him  treacherous, 
filthy  and  repulsive — and  how  quickly  the  evidences  accumu- 
lated that  wherever  one  finds  an  Indian  tribe  he  has  only 
found  Goshoots  more  or  less  modified  by  circumstances  and 
surroundings — but  Goshoots,  after  all.  They  deserve  pity, 
poor  creatures ;  and  they  can  have  mine — at  thir  distance.  - 
Nearer  by,  they  never  get  anybody's.  „  \- 

There  is  an  impression  abroad  that  the  Baltimore  and 
Washington  Railroad  Company  and  many  of  its  employes  are 
Goshoots ;  but  it  is  an  error.  There  is  only  a  plausible  resem- 
blance, which,  while  it  is  apt  enough  to  mislead  the  ignorant, 
cannot  deceive  parties  who  have  contemplated  both  tribes. 
But  seriously,  it  was  not  only  poor  wit,  but  very  wrong  to 
start  the  report  referred  to  above ;  for  however  innocent  the 
motive  may  have  been,  the  necessary  efiect  was  to  injure  the 
reputation  of  a  class  who  have  a  hard  enough  time  of  it  in  the 
pitiless  deserts  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  Heaven  knows !  If 
we  cannot  find  it  in  our  hearts  to  give  those  poor  naked  crea- 
tures our  Christian  sympathy  and  compassion,  in  God's  name 
let  us  at  least  not  throw  mud  at  them. 


ON  tlie  seventeenth  day  we  passed  the  highest  moimtain 
peaks  we  had  yet  seen,  and  although  the  day  was  very 
warm  the  night  that  followed'  upon  its  heels  was  wintry  cold 
and  blankets  were  next  to  useless. 

On  the  eighteenth  day  we  encountered  the  eastward-bound 
telegraph-constructors  at  Reese  Eiver  station  and  sent  a  mes- 
sage to  his  Excellency  Gov.  Nye  at  Carson  City  (distant  one 
hundred  and  iifty-six  miles). 

On  the  nineteenth  day  we  crossed  the  Great  American 
Desert — forty  memorable  miles  of  bottomless  sand,  into  which 
the  coach  wheels  sunk  from  six  inches  to  a  foot.  We  worked 
our  passage  most  of  the  way  across.  That  is  to  say,  we  got 
out  tod  walked.  It  was  a  dreary  pull  and  a  long  and  thirsty 
one,  for  we  had  no  water.  From  one  extremity  of  this  desert 
to  the  other,  the  road  was  white  with  the  bones  of  oxen  and 
horses.  It  would  hardly  be  an  exaggeration  to  say  that  we 
could  have  walked  the  forty  miles  and  set  our  feet  on  a  bone 
at  every  step!  The  desert  was  one  prodigious  graveyard. 
And  the  log-chains,  wagon  tyres,  and  rotting  wrecks  of  vehi- 
cles were  almost  as  thick  as  the  bones.  I  think  we  saw  log- 
chains  enough  rusting  there  in  the  desert,  to  reach  across  any 
State  in  the  Union.  Do  not  these  relics  suggest  something  of 
an  idea  of  the  fearful  suffering  and  privation  the  early  emi- 
grants to  California  endured  ? 

At  the  border  of  the  Desert  lies  Carson  Lake,  or  The 
"  Sink "  of  the  Carson,  a  shallow,  melancholy  alieet  of  water 



some  eighty,  or  a  Imndred  miles  in  circumference.  Carson 
Kiver  empties  into  it  and  is  lost — sinks  mysteriously  into  the 
earth  and  never  appears  in  the  light  of  the  sun  again — for  the 
lake  has  no  outlet  whatever. 

There  are  several  rivers  in  Ifevada,  and  they  all  have  this 
mysterious  fate.  They  end  in  various  lakes  or  "sinks,"  and 
that  is  the  last  of  them.  Carson  Lake,  Humboldt  Lake, 
Walker  Lake,  Mono  Lake,  are  all  great  sheets  of  water  with- 
out any  visible  outlet.  Water  is  always  flowing  into  them ; 
none    is  ever   seen 

to  flow  out  of  them, 
and  yet  they  re- 
main always  level 
full,  neither  reced- 
ing nor  overflowing. 
What  they  do  with 
their  surplus  is 
only  known  to  the 

Op.  the  western 
verge  of  the  Desert 
we  halted  a  moment 
at  Eagtown.  It  con- 
sisted of  one  log- 
house  and  is  not  set 
down  on  the  map. 

This  reminds  me 
of  a  circumstance.    Just  after  we  left  Julesburg,  on  the  Platte, 
I  was  sitting  with  the  driver,  and  he  said : 

"I  can  tell  you  a  most  laughable  thing  indeed,  if  you 
would  like  to  listen  to  it.  Horace  Greeley  went  over  this  road 
once.  When  he  was  leaving  Carson  City  he  told  the  driver, 
Hank  Monk,  that  he  had  an  engagement  to  lecture  at  Placer- 
ville  and  was  very  anxious  to  go  through  quick.  Hank  Monk 
cracked  his  whip  and  started  off  at  an  awful  pace.  The  coach 
bounced  up  and  down  in  such  a  terrific  way  that  it  jolted  the 
buttons  all  off  of  Horace's  coat,  and  finally  shot  his  head  clean 

gkeeley's  bide. 


through  the  roof  of  the  stage,  and  then  he  yelled  at  Hank 
Monk  and  begged  him  to  go  easier — said  he  wam't  in  as  much 
of  a  hurry  as  he  was  awhile  ago.  But  Hank  Monk  said, 
'  Keep  your  seat,  Horace,  and  I'll  get  you  there  on  time ' — 
and  you  bet  you  he  did,  too,  what  was  left  of  him ! " 

A  day  or  two  after  that  we  picked  up  a  Denver  man  at 
the  cross  roads,  and  he  told  us  a  good  deal  about  the  country 
and  the  Gregory  Diggings.  He  seemed  a  very  entertaining 
person  and  a  man  well  posted  in  the  affairs  of  Colorado.  By 
and  by  he  remarked ; 

"  I  can  tell  you  a  most  laughable  thing  indeed,  if  you  would 
like  to  listen  to  it.  Horace  Greeley  went  over  this  road  once. 
When  he  was  leaving  Carson  City  he  told  the  driver,  Hank 
Monk,  that  he  had  an  engagement  to  lecture  at  Placerville 
and  was  very  anxious  to  go  through  quick.  Hank  Monk 
cracked  his  whip  and  started  off  at  an  awful  pace.  The  coach 
bounced  up  and  down  in  such  a  terrific  way  that  it  jolted  the 
buttons  all  off  of  Horace's  coat,  and  finally  shot  his  head  clean 
through  the  roof  of  the  stage,  and  then  he  yelled  at  Hank 
Monk  and  begged  him  to  go  easier — said  he  wam't  in  as  much 
of  a  hurry  as  he  was  awhile  ago.  But  Hank  Monk  said, 
'  Keep  your  seat,  Horace,  and  I'll  get  you  there  on  time ! ' — 
and  you  bet  you  be  did,  too,  what  was  left  of  him !  " 

At  Fort  Bridger,  some  days  after  this,  we  took  on  board  a 
cavalry  sergeant,  a  very  proper  and  soldierly  person  indeed. 
From  no  other  man  during  the  whole  journey,  did  we  gather 
such  a  store  of  concise  and  well-arranged  military  infoiination. 
It  was  surprising  to  find  in  the  desolate  wilds  of  our  country 
a  man  so  thoroughly  acquainted  with  everything  useful  to 
know  in  his  Hue  of  life,  and  yet  of  such  inferior  rank  and  \m- 
pretentious  bearing.  For  as  much  as  three  hours  we  listened 
to  him  with  unabated  interest.  Finally  he  got  upon  the  sub- 
ject of  trans-continental  travel,  and  presently  said : 

"  I  can  tell  you  a  veiy  laughable  thing  indeed,  if  you  would 
like  to  listen  to  it.  Horace  Greeley  went  over  this  road  once. 
When  he  was  leaving  Carson  City  he  told  the  driver.  Hank 
Monk,  that  he  had  an  engagement  to  lecture  at  Placerville  and 


was  very  anxious  to  go  througli  quick.  Hank  Monk  cracked 
his  whip  and  started  off  at  an  awful  pace.  The  coach  bounced 
up  and  down  in  such  a  terrific  way  that  it  jolted  the  buttons 
all  off  of  Horace's  coat,  and  finally  shot  his  head  clean  through 
the  roof  of  the  stage,  and  then  he  yelled  at  Hank  Monk  and 
begged  him  to  go  easier — said  he  warn't  in  as  much  of  a  hurry 
as  he  was  awhile  ago.  But  Hank  Monk  said,  '  Keep  your 
seat,  Horace,  and  I'U  get  you  there  on  time ! ' — and  you  bet  you 
he  did,  too,  what  was  left  of  him ! " 

When  we  were  eight  hours  out  from  Salt  Lake  City  a 
Mormon  preacher  got  in  with  us  at  a  way  station — a  gentle, 
Boft-spoken,  kindly  man,  and,  one  whom  any  stranger  would 
warm  to  at  first  sight.  I  can  never  forget  the  pathos  that  was 
in  his  voice  as  he  told,  in  simple  language,  the  story  of  his 
people's  wanderings  and  unpitied  sufferings.  'No  pulpit  elo- 
quence was  ever  so  moving  and  so  beautiful  as  this  outcast's 
picture  of  the  first  Mormon  pilgrimage  across  the  plains, 
struggling  sorrowfully  onward  to  the  land  of  its  banishment 
and  marking  its  desolate  way  with  graves  and  watering  it  with 
tears.  His  words  so  wrought  upon  us  that  it  was  a  relief  to 
ns  all  when  the  conversation  drifted  into  a  more  cheerful  chan- 
nel and  the  natural  features  of  the  curious  country  we  were  in 
came  under  treatment.  One  matter  after  another  was  pleas- 
antly discussed,  and  at  length  the  stranger  said : 

"  I  can  tell  you  a  most  laughable  thing  indeed,  if  you  would 
like  to  listen  to  it.  Horace  Greeley  went  over  this  road  once. 
When  he  was  leaving  Carson  City  he  told  the  driver,  Hank 
Monk,  that  he  had  an  engagement  to  lecture  in  Placerville, 
and  was  very  anxious  to  go  through  quick.  Hank  Monk 
cracked  his  whip  and  started  off  at  an  awful  pace.  The  coach 
bounced  up  and  down  in  such  a  terrific  way  that  it  jolted  the 
buttons  all  off  of  Horace's  coat,  and  finally  shot  his  head  clean 
through  the  roof  of  the  stage,  and  then  he  yelled  at  Hank 
Monk  and  begged  him  to  go  easier — said  he  warn't  in  as  much 
of  a  hurry  as  he  was  awhile  ago.  But  Hank  Monk  said, 
'Keep  your  seat,  Horace,  and  I'll  get  you  there  on  time!' — 
and  you  bet  you  he  did,  too,  what  was  left  of  him ! " 



Ten  miles  out  of  Bagtown  we  found  a  poor  wanderer  who 
had  lain  down  to  die.  He  had  walked  as  long  as  he  could, 
but  his  limbs  had  failed  him  at  last.  Hunger  and  fatigue 
had  conquered  him.  It  would  have  been  inhuman  to  leave 
him  there.  We  paid  his  fare  to  Carson  and  lifted  him 
into  the  coach.  It  was  some  little  time  before  he  showed  any 
very  decided  signs  of  life ;  but  by  dint  of  chafing  him  and 
pouring  bran'dy  between  his  lips  we  finally  brought  him  to  a 
languid  consciousness.  Then  we  fed  him  a  little,  and  by  and 
by  he  seemed  to  comprehend  the  situation  and  a  grateful 
light  softened  his  eye.  We  made  his  mail-sack  bed  as  com- 
fortable as  possible,  and  constructed  a  pillow  for  him  with  our 
eoats.  He  seemed  very  thankful.  Then  he  looked  up  in  our 
faces,  and  said  in  a  feeble  voice  that  had  a  tremble  of  honest 
emotion  in  it : 

"  Gentlemen,  I  know  not  who  you  are,  but  you  have  saved 
my  life ;  and  although  I  can  never  be  able  to  repay  you  for  it,  I 

feel  that  I  can 
at  least  make 
one  hour  of  your 
long  journey 
lighter.  I  take 
it  you  are  strang- 
ers to  this  great 
but  I  am  entire- 
ly familiar  with 
it.  In  this  con- 
nection I  can 
tell  you  a  most 
laughable  thing 
indeed,  if  you 
Horace  Greeley — " 


would  like  to  listen  to  it. 

I  said,  impressively : 

"  Suffering  stranger,  proceed  at  your  peril.  You  see  in  me 
the  melancholy  wreck  of  a  once  stalwart  and  magnificent  man- 
hood.   What  has  brought  me  to  this  ?     That  thing  which  you 


are  about  to  tell,  gradually  but  surely,  that  tiresome  old 
anepdote  bas  sapped  my  strength,  undermined  my  constitu- 
tion, withered  my  life.  Pity  my  helplessness.  Spare  me 
only  just  this  once,  and  tell  me  about  young  George  Wash- 
ington and  his  little  hatchet  for  a  change." 

We  were  saved.  But  not  so  the  invalid.  In  trying  to 
retain  the  anecdote  in  his  systeih'he  strained  himself  and 
died  in  our  arms. 

I  am  aware,  now,  that  I  ought  not  to  have  asked  of  the 
sturdiest  citizen  of  all  that  region,  what  I  asked  of  that  mere 
shadow  of  a  man ;  for,  after  seven  years'  residence  on  the  Pa- 
cific coast,  I  know  that  no  passenger  or  driver  on  the  Overland 
ever  corked  that  anecdote  in,  when  a  stranger  was  by,  and  sur- 
vived. Within  a  period  of  six  years  I  crossed  and  recrossed  the 
Sierras  between  Nevada  and  California  thirteen  times  by  stage 
and  listened  to  that  deathless  incident  four  hundred  and  eighty- 
one  or  eighty-two  times.  I  have  the  list  somewhere.  Drivers 
always  told  it,  conductors  told  it,  landlords  told  it,  chailce 
passengers  told  it,  the  very  Chinamen  and  vagrant  Indians 
recounted  it.  I  have  had  the  same  driver  tell  it  to  me  two 
or  three  times  in  the  same  afternoon.  It  has  come  to  me  in 
all  the  multitude  of  tongues  that  Babel  bequeathed  to  earth, 
and  flavored  with  whiskey,  brandy,  beer,  cologne,  sozodont, 
tobacco,  garlic,  onions,  grasshoppers — everything  that  has  a  fra- 
grance to  it  through  all  the  long  list  of  things  that  are  gorged 
or  guzzled  by  the  sons  of  men.  I  never  have  smelt  any  anec- 
dote as  often  as  I  have  smelt  that  one ;  never  have  smelt  any 
anecdote  that  smelt  so  variegated  as  that  one.  And  you  never 
could  learn  to  know  it  by  its  smell,  because  every  time  you 
thought  you  had  learned  the  smell  of  it,  it  would  turn  up  with 
a  different  smell.  Bayard  Taylor  has  written  about  this  hoary 
anecdote,  Kichardson  has  published  it ;  so  have  Jones,  Smith, 
Johnson,  Eoss  Browne,  and  every  other  correspondence-indit- 
ing being  that  ever  set  his  foot  upon  the  great  overland  road 
anywhere  between  Julesburg  and  San  Francisco ;  and  I  have 
heard  that  it  is  in  the  Talmud.  I  have  seen  it  in  print  in 
nine  different  foreign  languages ;  I  have  been  told  that  it  is 


employed  in  the  inquisition  in  Home ;  and  I  now  learn  with 
regret  that  it  is  going  to  be  set  to  music.  I  do  not  think  that 
such  things  are  riglit. 

Stage-coaching  on  the  Overland  is  no  more,  and  stage 
drivers  are  a  race  defunct.  I  wonder  if  they  bequeathed  that 
bald-headed  anecdote  to  their  successors,  the  railroad  brake- 
men  and  conductors,  and  if  these  latter  still  persecute  the 
helpless  passenger  with  it  until  he  concludes,  as  did  many  a 
totirist  of  other  days,  that  the  real  grandeurs  of  the  Pacific  coast 
are  not  Yo  Semite  and  the  Big  Trees,  but  Hank  Monk  and 
his  adventure  with  Horace  Greeley.* 

*And  what  makes  that  worn  anecdote  the  more  aggravating,  is,  that 
the  adventure  it  celebrates  never  occurred.  If  it  were  a  good  anecdote, 
that  seeming  demerit  would  be  its  chiefest  virtue,  for  creative  power  be- 
longs to  greatness ;  but  what  ought  to  be  done  to  a  man  who  would  wantonly 
contrive  so  flat  a  one  as  this?  If  7 were,  to  suggest  what  ought  to  be  done 
to  him,  I  should  be  called  extravagant — but  what  does  the  thirteenth  chap- 
ter of  Daniel  gay  7    Aha  I 


"TTyTE  were  approaching  the  end  of  our  long  journey.  It 
V  V  was  the  morning  of  the  twentieth  day.  At  noon  we 
would  reach  Carson  City,  the  capital  of  Nevada  Territory. 
We  were  not  glad,  but  sorry.  It  had  been  a  fine  pleasure 
trip;  we  had  fed  fat  on  wonders  every  day;  we  were  now 
well  accustomed  to  stage  life,  and  very  fond  of  it ;  so  the  idea 
of  coming  to  a  stand-still  and  settlijjg  down  to  a  humdrum 
existence  in  a  village  was  not  agreeable,  but  on  the  contraiy 

Visibly  our  new  home  was  a  desert,  walled  in  by  barren, 
snow-clad  mountains.  There  was  not  a  tree  in  sight.  There 
was  no  vegetation  but  the  endless  sage-brush  and  greasewood. 
All  nature  was  gray  with  it.  "We  were  plowing  through 
great  deeps  of  powdery  alkali  dust  that  rose  in  thick  clouds 
and  iloated  across  the  plain  like  smoke  from  a  burning  house. 
We  were  coated  with  it  like  millers ;  so  were  the  coach,  the 
mules,  the  mail-bags,  the  driver — we  and  the  sage-brush  and 
the  other  scenery  were  all  one  monotonous  color.  Long  trains 
of  freight  wagons  in  the  distance  enveloped  in  ascending 
masses  of  dust  suggested  pictures  of  prairies  on  fire.  These 
teams  and  their  masters  were  the  only  life  we  saw.  Other- 
wise we  moved  in  the  midst  of  solitude,  silence  and  desolation. 
Every  twenty  steps  we  passed  the  skeleton  of  some  dead 
beast  of  burthen,  with  its  dust-coated  skin  stretched  tightly 
over  its  empty  ribs.     Frequently  a  solemn  raven  sat  upon  the 

158  ARRIVED    AT    CARSON    CITT. 

elmll  or  tlie  hips  and  contemplated  tlie  passing  coacli  witli 
meditative  serenity. 

By  and  by  Carson  City  was  pointed  out  to  ns.  It  nestled 
ia  the  edge  of  a  great  plain  and  was  a  sufficient  number  of 

miles  away  to  look  like  an  assemblage 
of  mere  white  spots  in  the  shadow  of 
a  grim  range  of  mountains  overlook- 
ing it,  whose  summits  seemed  lifted 
clear  out  of  companionship  and  con- 
sciousness of  earthly  things. 

We  arrived,  disembarked,  and  the 
stage  went  on.     It  was  a  "  wooden  " 
town;  its  population  two   thousand 
coNTEMPLATioK.  souls.     Thc  maiu  street  consisted  of 

four  or  five  blocks  of  little  white  frame  stores  which  were  too 
high  to  sit  down  on,  but  not  too  high  for  various  other  purposes; 
in  fact,  hardly  high  enough.  They  were  packed  close  together, 
side  by  side,  as  if  room  were  scarce  in  that  mighty  plain.  The 
sidewalk  was  of  boards  that  were  more  or  less  loose  and 
inclined  to  rattle  when  walked  upon.  In  the  middle  of  the 
town,  opposite  the  stores,  was  the  "  plaza  "  which  is  native  to 
all  towns  beyond  the  Eocky  Mountains — a  large,  unfenced, 
level  vacancy,  with  a  liberty  pole  in  it,  and  very  useful  as  a 
place  for  public  auctions,  horse  trades,  and  mass  meetings,  and 
likewise  for  teamsters  to  camp  in.  Two  other  sides  of  the 
plaza  were  faced  by  stores,  offices  and  stables.  The  rest  of 
Carson  City  was  pretty  scattering. 

"We  were  introduced  to  several  citizens,  at  the  stage-office 
and  on  the  way  up  to  the  Governor's  from  the  hotel — among 
others,  to  a  Mr.  Harris,  who  was  on  horseback ;  he  began  to 
say  something,  but  interrupted  himself  with  the  remark : 

"  I'll  have  to  get  you  to  excuse  me  a  minute ;  yonder  is  the 
witness  that  swore  I  helped  to  rob  the  California  coach — a 
piece  of  impertinent  intermeddling,  sir,  for  I  am  not  even 
acquainted  with  the  man." 

Then  he  rod&  over  and  began  to  rebuke  the  stranger  with 
a  six-shooter,  and  the  stranger  began  to  explain  with  another. 



When  the  pistols  were  emptied,  the  stranger  resumed  his  work 
(mending  a  whip-lash),  and  Mr.  Harris  rode  by  with  a  polite 
nod,  homeward  bound,  with  a  bullet  through  one  of  his  lungs, 
and  several  in  his  hips ;  and  from  them  issued  little  rivulets 
of  blood  that  coursed  down  the  horse's  sides  and  made  the 
animal  look  quite  picturesque.  I  never  saw  Harris  shoot  a 
man  after  that  but  it  recalled  to  mind  that  first  day  in  Carson. 
This  was  aU-we  saw  that  day,  for  it  was  two  o'clock,  now, 
and  according  to  custom  the  daily  "  Washoe  Zephyr "  set  in ; 
a  soaring  dust-drift  about  the  size  of  the  United. States  set  up 
edgewise  came  with  it,  and  the  capital  of  Nevada  Territory 


disappeared  from  yiew.  Still,  there  were  sights  to  be  seen 
which  were  not  wholly  uninteresting  to  new  comers ;  for  the 
vast  dust  cloud  was  thickly  freckled  with  things  strange  to  the 
upper  air — things  living  and  dead,  that  flitted  hither  and 
thither,  going  and  coming,  appearing  and  disappearing  among 

160  A   WASHOE    ZEPHYR    AT    PLAT. 

the  rolling  billows  of  dust — hats,  chickens  and  parasols  sailing 
in  the  remote  heavens;  blankets,  tin  signs,  sage-brush  and 
shingles  a  shade  lower;  door-mats  and  buffalo  robes  lower 
still ;  shovels  and  coal  scuttles  on  the  next  grade ;  glass  doors, 
cats  and  little  children  on  the  next;  disrupted  lumber  yards, 
light  buggies  and  wheelbarrows  on  the  next ;  and  down  only 
thirty  or  forty  feet  above  ground  was  a  scurrying  storm  of 
emigrating  roofs  and  vacant  lots. 

It  was  something  to  see  that  much.  I  could  have  seen 
more,  if  I  could  have  kept  the  dust  out  of  my  eyes. 

But  seriously  a  Washoe  wind  is  by  no  means  a  trifling 
matter.  It  blows  flimsy  houses  down,  lifts  shingle  roofs  oc- 
casionally, rolls  up  tin  ones  like  sheet  music,  now  and  then 
blows  a  stage  coach  over  and  spills  the  passengers ;  and  tra- 
dition says  the  reason  there  are  so  many  bald  people  there,  is, 
that  the  wind  blows  the  hair  off  their  heads  while  they  are 
looking  skyward  after  their  hats.  Carson  streets  seldom  look 
inactive  on  Summer  afternoons,  because  there  are  so  many 
citizens  skipping  around  their  escaping  hats,  like  chamber- 
maids trying  to  head  off  a  spider. 

The  "Washoe  Zephyr"  (Washoe  is  a  pet  nickname  for 
Nevada)  is  a  peculiarly  Scriptural  wind,  in  that  no  man 
knoweth  "  whence  it  cometh."  That  is  to  say,  where  it  origi- 
nates. It  comes  right  over  the  mountains  from  the  West,  but 
when  one  crosses  the  ridge  he  does  not  find  any  of  it  on  the 
other  side !  It  probably  is  manufactured  on  the  mountain-top 
for  the  occasion,  and  starts  from  there.  It  is  a  pretty  regular 
wind,  in  the  summer  time.  Its  oflace  hours  are  from  two  in 
the  afternoon  till  two  the  next  morning ;  and  anybody  ventur- 
ing abroad  during  those  twelve  hours  needs  to  allow  for  the 
wind, or  he  will  bring  up  a  mile  or  two  to  leeward  of  the 
point  he  is  aiming  at.  And  yet  the  first  complaint  a  Washoe 
Adsitor  to  pan  Francisco  makes,  is  that  the  sea  winds  blow  so, 
there !     There  is  a  good  deal  of  human  nature  in  that. 

We  found  the  state  palace  of  the  Governor  of  Nevada 
Territory  to  consist  of  a  white  frame  one-story  house  with  two 
small  rooms  in  it  and  a  stanchion  supported  shed  in  front — for 



grandeur — it  compelled  the  respect  of  the  citizen  and  inspired 
the  Indians  with  awe.  The  newly  arrived  Chief  and  Associate 
Justices  of  the  Territory,  and  other  machinery  of  the  govern- 
ment, were  domiciled  with  less  splendor.  They  were  boarding 
around  privately,  and  had  their  oflBces  in  their  bedrooms. 

The  Secretary  and  I  took  quarters  in  the  "  ranch  "  of  a 
worthy  French  lady  by  the  name  of  Bridget  O'Flannigan,  a 
camp  follower  of  his  Excellency  the  Governor.  She  had 
known  him  in  his  prosperity  as  commander-in-chief  of  the 
Metropolitan  Police  of  New  York,  and  she  would  not  desert 


liim  in  his  adversity  as  Governor  of  Nevada.  Our  room  was 
on  the  lower  floor,  facing  the  plaza,  and  when  we  had  got  our 
bed,  a  small  table,  two  chairs,  the  government  fire-proof  safe, 
and  the  Unabridged  Dictionary  into  it,  there  was  still  room 
enough  left  for  a  visitor — may  be  two,  but  not  without  strain- 
ing the  walls.  But  the  walls  could  stand  it — at  least  the  par- 
titions could,  for  they  consisted  simply  of  one  thickness  of 
white  "  cotton  domestic  "  stretched  from  comer  to  comer  of 
the  room.  This  was  the  mle  in  Carson — any  other  kind  of 
partition  was  the  rare  exception.  And  if  you  stood  in  a  dark 




room  and  your  neighbors  in  the  next  had  lights,  the  shadows 
on  your  canvas  told   queer  secrets  sometimes !    Yery  often 

these  partitions 
were  made  of  old 
flour  sacks  basted 
together ;  and  ihen 
the  difference  be- 
tween the  common 
herd  and  the  aris- 
tocracy was,  that  the 
common  herd  had 
sacks,  while  the 
walls  of  the  aris- 
tocrat were  over- 
powering with  ru- 
dimental  fresco — 
*'.  e.,  red  and  blue 
mill  brands  on  the 
fl,our  sacks.  Occasionally,  also,  the  better  classes  embellished 
their  canvas  by  pasting  pictures  from  Harper's  Weekly  on  them. 
In  many  cases,  too,  the  wealthy  and  the  cultured  rose  to  spit- 
toons and  other  evidences  of  a  sumptuous  and  hixurious  taste.* 
We  had  a  carpet  and  a  genuine  queen' s-ware  washbowl.  Con- 
sequently we  were  hated  without  reserve  by  the  other  tenants 
of  the  O'Flannigan  "  ranch."  "WTien  we  added  a  painted  oil- 
cloth window  curtain,  we  simply  took  our  lives  into  our  own 
hands.  To  prevent  bloodshed  I  removed  up  stairs  and  took 
up  quarters  with  the  untitled  plebeians  in  one  of  the  fourteen 
white  pine  cot-bedsteads  that  stood  in  two  long  ranks  in  the 
one  sole  room  of  which  the  second  story  consisted. 

It  was  a  jolly  company,  the  fourteen.  They  were  princi- 
pally voluntary  camp-followers  of  the  Governor,  who  had 
joined  his  retinue  by  their  own  election  at  New  York  and 

*  Washoe  people  take  a  joke  so  hard  that  I  must  explain  that  the  above 
description  was  only  the  rule  ;  there  were  many  honorable  exceptions  in 
Carson — plastered  ceilings  and  houses  that  had  considerable  furniture  in 
them. — M.  T. 



San  Francisco  and  came  along,  feeling  that  in  the  scuffle  for 
little  territorial  crumbs  and  offices  they  could  not  make  their 
condition  more  precarious  than  it  was,  and  might  reasonably 
expect  to  make  it  better.  They  were  popularly  known  as  the 
"  Irish  Brigade,"  though  there  were  only  four  or  five  Irish- 
men among  all  the  Governor's  retainers.    His  good-natured 


Excellency  was  much  annoyed  at  the  gossip  his  henchmen 
created — especially  when  there  arose  a  rumor  that  they  were 
paid  assassins  of  his,  brought  along  to  quietly  reduce  the 
democratic  vote,  when  desirable ! 

Mrs.  O'Flannigan  was  boarding  and  lodging  them  at  ten 
dollars  a  week  apiece,  and  they  were  cheerfully  giving  their 
noteg  for  it.  They  were  perfectly  satisfied,  but  Bridget  pres- 
ently found  that  notes  that  could  not  be  discounted  were  but 
a  feeble  constitution  for  a  Carson  boarding-house.  So  she 
began  to  harry  the  Governor  to  find  employment  for  the 
"  Brigade."  Her  importunities  and  theirs  together  drove  him 
to  a  gentle  desperation  at  last,  and  he  finally  bummoned  the 
Brigade  to  the  presence.     Then,  said  he : 


"  Gentlemen,  I  have  planned  a  lucrative  and  useful  service 
for  you — a  service  which  will  provide  you  with  recreation  amid 
noble  landscapes,  and  afford  you  never  ceasing  opportunities 
for  enriching  your  minds  by  observation  and  study.  I  want 
you  to  survey  a  railroad  from  Carson  City  westward  to  a  cer- 
tain point !  When  the  legislature  meets  I  will  have  the  neces- 
sary bill  passed  and  the  remuneration  arranged." 

"  What,  a  railroad  over  the  Sierra  Nevada  Mountains  ? " 
"  Well,  then,  survey  it  eastward  to  a  certain  point !  " 
He  converted  them  into  surveyors,  chain-bearers  and  so 
on,  and  turned  them  loose  in  the  desert.     It  was  "  recreation  " 
with  a  vengeance !     Recreation  on  foot,  lugging  chains  through 
sand  and  sage-brush,  under  a  sultry  sun  and  among  cattle  bones, 
cayotes  and   tarantulas.      "Komantic 
adventure  "  could  go  no  further.  They 
surveyed  very  slowly, very  deliberately, 
very  carefully.     They  returned  every 
night   during   the   first  week,  dusty, 
footsore,  tired,  and  hungry,  but  very 
jolly.     They  brought  in  great  store 
P3^-  •<       ii<-- '   ^      °^  prodigious  hairy  spiders — tarantu- 
^X-^SS}""^  ^gg — ^^^  imprisoned  them  in  covered 

EECKEATioN.  tumblcrs  up    stairs   in  the   "ranch." 

After  the  first  week,  they  had  to  camp  on  the  field,  for  they 
were  getting  well  eastward.  They  made  a  good  many  in- 
quiries as  to  the  location  of  that  indefinite  "  certain  point,"  b\it 
got  no  information.  At  last,  to  a  peculiarly  urgent  inquiry 
of  "  How  far  eastward  ? "  Governor  Nye  telegraphed  back : 

"  To  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  blast  you  ! — and  then  bridge  it 
and  go  on ! " 

This  brought  back  the  dusty  toilers,  who  sent  in  a  report 
land  ceased  from 'their  labors.  The  Governor  was  always  com- 
fortable about  it ;  he  said  Mrs.  O'Flannigan  would  hold  him 
for  the  Brigade's  board  anyhow,  and  he  intended  to  get  what 
entertainment  he  could  out  of  the  boys ;  he  said,  with  his  old- 
time  pleasant  twinkle,  that  he  meant  to  survey  them  into  Utah 
and  then  telegraph  Brigham  to  hang  them  for  trespass ! 


The  surveyors  brought  back  more  tarantulas  with  them, 
and  so  we  had  quite  a  menagerie  arranged  along  the  shelves 
of  the  room.  Some  of  these  spiders  could  straddle  over  a 
common  saucer  with  their  hairy,  muscular  legs,  and  when 
their  feelings  were  hurt,  or  their  dignity  offended,  they  were 
the  wickedest-looking  desperadoes  the  animal  world  can  fur- 
nish. If  their  glass  pris- 
on-houses were  touched 
ever  so  lightly  they 
were  up  and  spoiling 
for  a  fight  in  a  minute. 
Starchy? — proud?  In- 
THE  TABANTuiA.  ^jggjj^  ^hey  would  take 

up  a  straw  and  'pick  their  teeth  like  a  member  of  Congi-ess. 
There  was  as  usual  a  furious  "zephyr"  blowing  the  first 
night  of  the  brigade's  retvu-n,  and  about  midnight  the  roof 
of  an  adjoining  stable  blew  off,  and  a  corner  of  it  came  crash- 
ing through  the  side  of  our  ranch.  There  was  a  simultane- 
ous awakening,  and  a  tumultuous  muster  of  the  brigade  in 
the  dark,  and  a  general  tumbling  and  sprawling  over  each 
other  in  the  narrow  aisle  between  the  bed-rows.      In  the 

midst  of  the  turmoil.  Bob  H sprung  up  out  of  a  sound 

sleep,  and  knocked  down  a  shelf  with  his  head.  Instantly  he 
shouted : 

"  Turn  out,  boys — the  tarantulas  is  loose ! " 

1^0  warning  ever  sounded  so  dreadful.  Nobody  tried,  any 
longer,  to  leave  the  room,  lost  he  might  step  on  a  tarantula. 
Every  man  groped  for  a  trunk  or  a  bed,  and  jumped  on  it. 
Then  followed  the  strangest  silence — a  silence  of  grisly  sus- 
pense it  was,  too — waiting,  expectancy,  fear.  It  was  as  dark 
as  pitch,  and  one  had  to  imagine  the  spectacle  of  those  four- 
teen scant-clad  men  roosting  gingerly  on  trunks  and  beds,  for 
not  a  thing  could  be  seen.  Then  came  occasional  little  inter- 
ruptions of  the  silence,  and  one  could  recognize  a  man  and 
tell  his  locality  by  his  voice,  or  locate  any  other  sound  a  suf- 
ferer made  by  his  gropings  or  changes  of  position.  The  occa- 
sional voices  -ftrere  not  given  to  much  speaking— you  simply 

166    MRS.    O'FLANNIGAN    COMES    TO    THE    RESCUE. 

heard  a  gentle  ejaculation  of  "  Ow ! "  followed  by  a  solid 
thump,  and  you  knew  the  gentleman  had  felt  a  hairy  blanket 
or  something  touch  his  bare  skin  and  had  skipped  from  a  bed 
to  the  floor.  Another  silence.  Presently  you  would  hear  a 
gasping  voice  say : 

"  Su-su-something's  crawling  up  the  back  of  my  neck  ! " 

Every  now  and  then  you  could  hear  a  little  subdued  scram- 
ble and  a  sorrowful  "  O  Lord ! "  and  then  you  knew  that  some- 
body was  getting  away  from  something  he  took  for  a  taran- 
tula, and  not  losing  any  time  about  it,  either.  Directly  a  voice 
in  the  comer  rang  out  wild  and  clear : 

"  I've  got  him  ! .  I've  got  him ! "  [Pause,  and  probable 
change  of  circumstances.]  "  No,  he's  got  me !  Oh,  ain't  they 
never  going  to  fetch  a  lantern ! " 

The  lantern  came  at  that  moment,  in  the  hands  of  Mrs. 
O'Flannigan,  whose  anxiety  to  know  the  amount  of  damage 


done  by  the  assaulting  roof  had.  not  prevented  her  waiting  a 
judicious  interval,  after  getting  out  of  bed  and  lighting  up,  to 

ALL'S    WELL    THAT    ENDS    WELL.  167 

8ee  if  the  wind  was  done,  now,  up  stairs,  or  had  a  larger  con- 

The  landscape  presented  when  the  lantern  flashed  into  the 
room  was  picturesque,  and  might  have  been  funny  to  some 
people,  but  was  not  to  us.  Although  we  were  perched  so 
strangely  upon  boxes,  trunks  and  beds,  and  so  strangely  at- 
tired, too,  we  were  itoo  earnestly  distressed  and  too  genuinely 
miserable  to  see  any  fun  about  it,  and  there  was  not  the  sem- 
blance of  a  smile  anywhere  visible.  I  know  I  am  not  capa- 
ble of  suffering  more  than  I  did  during  those  few  minutes  of 
suspense  in  the  darkj  surrounded  by  those  creeping,  bloody- 
minded  tarantulas.  I  had  skipped  from  bed  to  bed  and  from 
box  to  box  in  a  cold  agony,  and  every  time  I  touched  anything 
that  was  furzy  I  fancied  I  felt  the  fangs.  I  had  rather  go  to 
war  than  li^e  that  episode  over  again.  Nobody  was  hurt.  The 
man  who  thought  a  tarantula  had  "  got  him  "  was  mistaken — 
only  a  crack  in  a  box  had  caught  his  linger.  Not  one  of  those 
escaped  tarantulas  was  ever  seen  again.  There  were  ten  or 
twelve  of  them.  We  took  candles  and  hunted  the  place  high 
and  low  for  them,  but  with  no  success.  Did  we  go  back  to 
bed  then  ?  "We  did  nothing  of  the  kind.  Money  could  not 
have  persuaded  us  to  do  it.  We  sat  up  the  rest  of  the  night 
playing  cribbage  and  keeping  a  sharp  lookout  for  the  enemy. 


IT  was  tte  end  of  August,  and  the  skies  were  cloudless  and 
the  weather  superb.  In  two  or  three  weeks  I  had  grown 
wonderfully  fascinated  with  the  curious  new  country,  and 
concluded  to  put  off  my  return  to  "  the  States "  awhile.  I 
had  grown  well  accustomed  to  wearing  a  damaged  slouch  hat, 
blue  woolen  shirt,  and  pants  crammed  into  boot-tops,  and 
gloried  in  the  absence  of  coat,  vest  and  braces.  I  felt  rowdy- 
ish  and  "bully,"  (as ^ the  historian  Josephus  phrases  it,  in  his 
fine  chapter  upon  the  destruction  of  the  Temple).  It  seemed 
to  me  that  nothing  could  be  so  fine  and  so  romantic.  I  had 
become  an  oflicer  of  the  government,  but  that  was  for  mere 
sublimity.  The  office  was  an  unique  sinecure.  I  had  nothing 
to  do  and  no  salary.  I  was  private  Secretary  to  his  majesty 
the  Secretary  and  there  was  not  yet  writing  enough  for  two 
of  us.  So  Johnny  K and  I  devoted  our  time  to  amuse- 
ment. He  was  the  young  son  of  an  Ohio  nabob  and  was  out 
there  for  recreation.  He  got  it.  We  had  heard  a  world  of 
talk  about  the  marvellous  beauty  of  Lake  Tahoe,  and  finally 
curiosity  drove  us  thither  to  see  it.  Three  or  four  members 
of  the  Brigade  had  been  there  and  located  some  timber  lands 
on  its  shores  and  stored  up  a  quantity  of  provisions  in  their 
camp.  We  strapped  a  couple  of  blankets  on  our  shoulders 
and  took  an  axe  apiece  and  started — for  we  intended  to  take 
up  a  wood  ranch  or  so  ourselves  and  become  wealthy.  We 
were  on  foot.  The  reader  will  find  it  advantageous  to  go 
horseback.    We  were  told  that  the  distance  was  eleven  miles. 



We  tramped  a  long  time  on  level  ground,  and  then  toiled 
laboriously  up  a  mountain  about  a  thousand  miles  high  and 
looked  over.  No  lake  there.  We  descended  on  the  other 
side,  crossed  the  valley  and  toiled  up  another  mountain  three 
or  four  thousand  miles  high,  apparently,  and  looked  over  again. 
No  lake  yet.  We  sat  down  tired  and  perspiring,  and  hired  a 
couple  of  Chinamen  to  curse  those  people  who  had  beguiled 
us.  Thus  refreshed,  we  presently  resumed  the  march  with 
renewed  vigor  and  determination.  We  plodded  on,  two  or 
three  hours  longer,  and  at  last  the  Lake  burst  upon  us — a 
noble  sheet  of  blue  water  lifted  six  thousand  three  hundred 
feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  walled  in  by  a  rim  of  snow- 
clad  mountain  peaks  that  towered  aloft  full  three  thousand  feet 
higher  still !  It  was  a  vast  oval,  and  one  would  have  to  use 
up  eighty  or  a  hundred  good  miles  in  traveling  around  it.  As 
it  lay  there  with  the  shadows  of  the  mountains  brilliantly 
photographed  upon  its  still  surface  I  thought  it  must  surely 
be  the  fairest  picture  the  whole  earth  affords. 

We  found  the  small  skiff  belonging  to  the  Brigade  boys, 

and  without  loss  of  time  

set  out  across  a  deep  bend 
of  the  lake  toward  the  land- 
marks that  signified  the  lo- 
cality of  the  camp.  I  got 
Johnny  to  row  —  not  be- 
cause I  mind  exertion  my- 
self, but  because  it  makes 
me  sick  to  ride  backwards 
when  I  am  at  work.  But 
I  steered.  A  three-mile  pull  brought  us  to 
the  camp  just  as ,  the  night  fell,  and  we 
stepped  ashore  very  tired  and  wolfishly  hun- 
gry. In  a  "  cache  "  among  the  rocks  we  found 
the  provisions  and  the  cooking  utensils,  and  then,  all  fatigued 
as  I  was,  I  sat  down  on  a  boulder  and  superintended  while 
Johnny  gathered  wood  and  cooked  supper.  Many  a  man  who 
bad  gone  through  what  I  had,  would  have  wanted  to  rest. 




It  was  a  delicious  supper — hot  bread,  fried  bacon,  and 
black  coffee.  It  was  a  delicious  solitude  we  were  in,  too. 
Three  miles  away  was  a  saw-mill  and  some  workmen,  but 
there  were  not  fifteen  other  human  beings  throughout  the 
wide  circumference  of  the  lake.  As  the  darkness  closed  down 
and  the  stars  came  out  and  spangled  the  great  mirror  with 
jewels,  we  smoked  meditatively  in  the  solemn  hush.and  forgot 
our  troubles  and  our  pains.  In  due  time  we  spread  oiu- 
blankets  in  the  warm  sand  between  two  large  boulders  and 
soon  feel  asleep,  careless  of  the  procession  of  ants  that  passed 
in  through  rents  in  our  clothing  and  explored  our  persons. 
Nothing  could  disturb  the  sleep  that  fettered  us,  for  it  had 
been  fairly  earned,  and  if  our  consciences  had  any  sins  on 
them  they  had  to  adjourn  court  for  that  night,  any  way.  The 
wind  rose  just  as  we  were  losing  consciousness,  and  we  were 
lulled  to  sleep  by  the  beating  of  the  surf  upon  the  shore. 

It  is  always  very  cold  on  that  lake  shore  in  the  night,  but 
we  had  plenty  of  blankets  and  were  warm  enough.  We  never 
moved  a  muscle  all  night,  but  waked  at 
early  dawn  in  the  original  positions,  and 
got  up  at  once,  thoroughly  refreshed, 
free  from  soreness,  and  brim  full  of 
friskiness.  There  is  no  end  of  whole- 
some medicine  in  such  an  experience. 
That  morning  we  could  have  whipped 
ten  such  people  as  we  were  the  day 
before — sick  ones  at  any  rate.  Eut  the 
world  is  slow,  and  people  will  go  to 
"  water  cui-es  "  and  •"  movement  cures  " 
and  to  foreign  lands  for  health.  Three 
months  of  camp  life  on  Lake  Tahoe 
would  restore  an  Egyptian  mummy  to 
his  pristine  vigor,  and  give  him  an  appetite  like  an  alligator. 
I  do  not  mean  the  oldest  and  driest  mummies,  of  course,  but  the 
fresher  ones.  The  air  up  there  in  the  clouds  is  very  pure  and 
fine,  bracing  and  delicious.  And  why  shouldn't  it  be? — it  is 
the  same  the  angels  breathe.    I  think  that  hardly  any  amount 




of  fatigue  can  be  gathered  together  tliat  a  man  cannot  sleep  off 
in  one  night  on  the  Band  by  its  side.  Not  under  a  roof,  but 
under  the  sky ;  it  seldom  or  never  rains  there  in  the  summer 
time.  I  know  a  man  who  went  there  to  die.  But  he  made  a 
failure  of  it.  He  was  a  skeleton  when  he  came,  and  could 
barely  stand.  He  had  no  appetite,  and  did  nothing  but  read 
tracts  and  reflect  on  the  future.  Three  months  later  he  was 
sleeping  out  of  doors  regularly,  eating  all  he  could  hold,  three 
times  a  day,  and  chasing  game  over  mountains  three  thousand 
feet  high  for  recreation.  And  he  was  a  skeleton  no  longer, 
but  weighed  part  of  a  ton.  This  is  no  fancy  sketch,  but  the 
truth.  His  disease  was  consumption.  I  confidently  commend 
his  experience  to  other  skeletons. 

I  superintended  again,  and  as  sobn  as  we  had  eaten  breakr 
fast  we  got  in  the  boat  and 
skirted  along  the  lake  shore 
about  three  miles  and  disem- 
barked. We  liked  the  appear- 
ance of  the  place,  and  so  we 
claimed  some  three  hundred 
acres  of  it  and  stuck  our  "  no- 
tices "  on  a  tree.  It  was  yellow 
pine  timber  land — a  dense  forest 
of  trees  a  hundred  feet  high  and 
from  one  to  five  feet  through  at 
the  butt.  It  was  necessary  to 
fence  our  property  or  we  could 
not  hold  it.  That  is  to  say,  it  was 
necessary  to  cut  down  trees  here 
and  there  and  make  them  fall  in 
such  a  yyaj  as  to  form  a  sort  of 
enclosure  (with  pretty  wide  gaps 
in  it).  "We  cut  down  three  trees  apiece,  aod  found  it  such 
heart-breaking  work  that  we  decided  to  "rest  our  case"  on 
those ;  if  they  held  the  property,  well  and  good ;  if  they 
didn't,  let  the  property  spill  out  through  the  gaps  and  go ;  it 
was  no  use  to  work  ourselves  to  death  merely  to  save  a  few 




acres  of  land.  Next  day  we  came  back  to  build  a  house — 
for  a  house  was  also  necessary,  in  order  to  hold  the  property. 
We  decided  to  build  a  substantial  log-house  and  excite  the 
envy  of  the  Brigade  boys ;  but  by  the  time  we  had  cut  and 
trimmed  the  first  log  it  seemed  unnecessary  to  be  so  elaborate, 
and  so  we  concluded  to  build  it 'of  saplings.  However,  two 
saplings,  duly  cut  and  trimmed,  compelled  recognition  of  the 
fact  that  a  still  modester  architecture  would  satisfy  the  law, 
and  so  we  concluded  to  build  a  "  brush  "  house.  We  devoted 
the  next  day  to  this  work,  but  we  did  so  much  "sitting 
around"  and  discussing,  that  by  the  middle  of  the  afternoon 
we  had  achieved  only  a  half-way  sort  of  affair  which  one  of  us 

had  to  watch  while  the  other 

cut  brush,  lest  if  both  turned 
our  backs  we  might  not  be 
able  to  find  it  again,  it  had 
such  a  strong  family  resem- 
blance to  the  surrounding 
vegetation.  But  we  were 
satisfied  with  it. 

We   were  land  owners 
now,  duly  seized  and  pos- 
sessed, and  within  the  pro- 
tection of  the  law.     There- 
fore we  decided  to  take  up 
our  residence  on  our  own 
domain  and  enjoy  that  large  sense  of 
independence  which  only  such  an  expe- 
rience can  bring.     Late  the  next  after- 
noon, after  a  good  long  rest,  we  sailed 


away  frpm  the  Brigade  camp  with  aU 
the  provisions  and  cooking  utensils  we  could  carry  off — borrow 
is  the  more  accurate  word — and  just  as  the  night  was  falling 
we  beached  the  boat  at  our  own  landing. 


IF  there  is  any  life  that  is  happier  than  the  life  we  led  on  our 
timber  ranch  for  the  next  two  or  three  weeks,  it  must  be 
a  sort  of  life  which  I  have  not  read  of  in  books  or  experienced 
in  person.  "We  did  not  see  a  human  being  but  ourselves  during 
the  time,  or  hear  any  sounds  but  those  that  were  made  by  the 
wind  and  the  waves,  the  sighing  of  the  pines,  and  now  and 
then  the  far-off  thunder  of  an  avalanche.  The  forest  about  us 
was  dense  and  cool,  the  sky  above  us  was  cloudless  and  bril- 
liant with  sunshine,  the  broad  lake  before  us  was  glassy  and 
clear,  or  rippled  and  breezy,  or  black  and  storm-tossed,  accord- 
ing to  Nature's  mood;  and  its  circling  border  of  mountain 
domes,  clothed  with  forests,  scarred  with  land-slides,  cloven  by 
canons  and  valleys,  and  helmeted  with  glittering  snow,  fitly 
framed  and  finished  the  noble  picture.  The  view  was  always 
fascinating,  bewitching,  entrancing.  The  eye  was  never  tired 
of  gazing,  night  or  day,  in  calm  or  stonn ;  it  suffered  but  one 
grief,  and  that  was  that  it  could  not  look  always,  but  must  close 
soi;netimes  in  sleep. 

We  slept  in  the  sand  close  to  the  water's  edge,  between  two 
protecting  boulders,  which  took  care  of  the  stormy  night- wiiida 
for  us.  "We  never  took  any  paregoric  to  make  us  sleep.  At 
the  first  break  of  dawn  we  were  always  up  and  running  foot- 
races to  tone  down  excess  of  physical  vigor  and  exuberance  of 
spirits.  That  is,  Johnny  was — ^but  I  held  his  hat.  "While 
smoking  the  pipe  of  peace  after  breakfast  we  watched  the  sen- 
tinel peaks  put  on  the  glory  of  the  sun,  and  followed  the  con- 



quering  light  as  it  swept  down  among  the  shadows,  and  set  the 
captive  crags  and  forests  free.  We  watched  the  tinted  pictures 
grow  and  brighten  upon  the  water  till  every  little  detail  of 
forest,  precipice  and  pinnacle  was  wrought  in  and  finished,  and 
the  miracle  of  the  enchanter  complete.     Then  to  "  business." 

That  is,  driiling  around  in  the  boat.  We  were  on  the 
north  shore.     There,  the  rocks  on  the  bottom  are  sometimes 

gray,  sometimes  white. 
This  gives  the  marvelous 
transparency  of  the  water 
a  fuller  advantage  than  it 
has  elsewhere  on  the  lake. 
We  usually  pushed  out  a 
hundred  yards  or  so  from 
shore,  and  then  lay  down 
on  the  thwarts,  in  the 
sun,  and  let  the  boat 
drift  by  the  hour  whither  it  would.  We 
seldom  talked.  It  interrupted  the  Sabbath 
stillness,  and  marred  the  dreams  the  luxuri- 
ous rest  and  indolence  brought.  The  shore 
all  along  was  indented ,  with  deep,  curved  bays  and  coves, 
bordered  by  narrow  sand-beaches ;  and  where  the  sand  ended, 
the  steep  mountain-sides  rose  right  up  aloft  into  space — rose 
up  like  a  vast  wall  a  little  out  of  the  perpendicular,  and 
thickly  wooded  with  tall  pines. 

So  singularly  clear  was  the  water,  that  where  it  was  only 
twenty  or  thirty  feet  deep  the  bottom  was  so  perfectly  distinct 
that  the  boat  seemed  floating  in  the  air !  Yes,  where  it  was 
even  eighty  feet  deep.  Every  little  pebble  was  distinct,  every 
speckled  trout,  every  hand's-breadth  of  sand.  Often,  as  we  lay 
on  our  faces,  a  granite  boulder,  as  large  as  a  village  church, 
would  start  out  of  the  bottom  apparently,  and  seem  climbing 
up  rapidly  to  the  surface,  till  presently  it  threatened  to  touch 
our  faces,  and  we  could  not  resist  the  impulse  to  seize  an  oar 
and  avert  the  danger.  But  the  boat  would  float  on,  and  the 
boulder  descend  again,  and  then  we  could  see  that  when  we 



had  been  exactly  above  it,  it  miist  still  Lave  been  twenty  or 
thirty  feet  below  the  surface.  Down  through  the  transparency 
of  these  greai  depths,  the  water  was  not  merekf  transparent, 
but  dazzlingly,  brilliantly  so.  All  objects  seen  through  it  had 
a  bright,  strong  vividness,  not  only  of  outline,  but  of  every 
minute  detail,  which  they  would  not  have  had  when  seen 
simply  through  the  same  depth  of  atmosphere.  So  empty  and 
airy  did  all  spaces  seem  below  us,  and  so  strong  was  the  sense 
of  floating  high  aloft  in  mid-nothingness,  that  we  called  these 
boat-excursions  "  balloon- voyages." 

"We  fished  a  good  deal,  but  we  did  not  average  one  fish  a 
week.  We  could  see  trout  by  the  thousand  winging  about  in 
the  emptiness  under  us,  or  sleeping  in  shoals  on  the  bottom,  but 
they  would  not  bite — they  could  see  the  line  too  plainly,  per- 
haps. We  frequently  selected  the  trout  we  wanted,  and  rested 
the  bait  patiently  and  persistently  on  the  end  of  his  nose  at  a 
depth  of  eighty  feet,  but  he  would  only  shake  it  off  with  an 
annoyed  manner,  and  shift  his  position. 

We  bathed  occasionally,  but  the  water  was  rather  chilly,  for 
all  it  looked  so  sunny.  Sometimes  we  rowed  out  to  the  "  blue 
water,"  a  mile  or  two  from  shore.  It  was  as  dead  blue  as  in- 
,  digo  there,  because  of  the  immense  depth.  By  oiSeial  measure- 
ment the  lake  in  its  centre  is  one  thousand  five  hundred  and 
twenty-five  feet  deep ! 

Sometimes,  on  lazy  afternoons,  we  lolled  on  tlie  sand  in 
camp,  and  smoked  pipes  and  read  some  old  well-worn  novels. 
At  night,  by  the  camp-fire,  we  played  euchre  and  seven-up  to 
strengthen  the  mind — and  played  them  with  cards  so  greasy 
and  defaced  that  only  a  whole  summer's  acquaintance  with 
them  could  enable  the  student  to  teU  the  ace  of  clubs  from  the 
jack  of  diamonds. 

We  never  slept  in  our  "  house."  It  never  recurred  to  us, 
for  one  thing ;  and  besides,  it  was  built  to  hold  the  ground, 
and  that  was  enough.    We  did  not  wish  to  strain  it. 

By  and  by  our  provisions  began  to  run  short,  and  we 
went  back  to  the  old  camp  and  laid  in  a  new  supply.  We 
were  gone  all  day,  and  reached  home  again  about  night-fall, 


pretty  tired  and  hungry.  While  Johnny  was  carrying  the 
main  bulk  of  the  provisions  up  to  our  "house"  for  future  use, 
I  took  the  loaf  of  bread,  some  slices  of  bacon,  and  the  coffee-pot, 
ashore,  set  them  down  by  a  tree,  lit  a  fire,  and  went  back  to  the 
boat  to  get  the  frying-pan.  While  I  was  at  this,  I  heard  a 
shout  from  Johnny,  and  looking  up  I  saw  that  my  fire  was 
galloping  all  over  the  premises  ! 

Johnny  was  on  th6  other  side  of  it.  He  had  to  run  through 
the  flames  to  get  to  the  lake  shore,  and  then  we  stood  helpless 
and  watched  the  devastation. 

The  ground  was  deeply  carpeted  with  dry  pine-needles,  and 
the  fire  touched  them  off  as  if  they  were  gunpowder.  It  was 
wonderful  to  see  with  what  fierce  speed  the  tall  sheet  of  flame 
traveled!  My  coffee-pot  was  gone,  and  everything  with  it. 
In  a  minute  and  a  half  the  fire  seized  upon  a  dense  growth  of 
dry  manzanita  chapparal  six  or  eight  feet  high,  and  then  the 
roaring  and  popping  and  crackling  was  something  terrific.  We 
'VV'ere  driven  to  the  boat  by  the  intense  heat,  and  there  we  re- 
mained, spell-bound. 

Within  half  an  hour  all  before  us  was  a  tossing,  blinding 
-tempest  of  flame !  It  went  surging  up  adjacent  ridges — sur- 
mounted them  and  disappeared  in  the  canons  beyond — burst 
into  view  upon  .higher  and  farther  ridges,  presently — shed  a 
grander  illumination  abroad,  and  dove  again — ^flamed  out  again, 
directly,  higher  and  still  higher  up  the  mountain-side — threw 
out  skirmishing  parties  of  fire  here  and  there,  and  sent  them 
trailing  their  crimson  spirals  away  among  remote  ramparts 
and  ribs  and  gorges,  till  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach  the  lofty 
mountain-fronts  were  webbed  as  it  were  with  a  tangled  net- 
work of  red  lava  streams.  Away  across  the  water  the  crags 
and  domes  were  lit  with  a  ruddy  glare,  and  the  firmament  above 
was  a  reflected  hell ! 

Every  feature  of  the  spectacle  was  repeated  in  the  glowing 
mirror  of  the  lake !  Both  pictures  were  sublime,  both  were 
beautiful ;  but  that  in  the  lake  had  a  bewildering  richness  about  it 
that  enchanted  the  eye  and  held  it  with  the  stronger  fascination. 

We  sat  absorbed  and  motionless  through  four  long  hours. 


A    STORM    ON    THE    LAKE.  177 

We  never  thought  of  supper,  and  never  felt  fatigue.  But  at 
eleven  o'clock  the  conflagration  had  traveled  beyond  our  range 
of  vision,  and  then  darkness  stole  down  upon  the  landscape 

Hunger  asserted  itself  now,  but  there  was  nothing  to  eat. 
The'  provisions  were  all  cooked,  no  doubt,  but  we  did  not  go 
to  see.  We  were  homeless  wanderers  again,  without  any  pro- 
perty. Our  fence  was  gone,  our  house  burned  down ;  no  in- 
surance. Our  pine  forest  was  well  scorched,  the  dead  trees  all 
burned  up,  and  our  broad  acres  of  manzanita  swept  away. 
Our  blankets  were  on  our  usual  sand-bed,  however,  and  so  we 
lay  down  and  went  to  sleep.  The  next  morning  we  started 
back  to  the  old  camp,  but  while  out  a  long  way  from  shore,  so 
great  a  storm  came  up  that  we  dared  not  try  to  land.  So  I 
baled  out  the  seas  we  shipped,  and  Johnny  pulled  heavily 
through  the  billows  till  we  had  reached  a  point  three  or  four 
miles  beyond  the  camp.  The  storm  was  increasing,  and  it  be- 
came evident  that  it  was  better  to  take  the  hazard  of  beaching 
the  boat  than  go  down  in  a  hundred  fathoms  of  water ;  so  we 
ran  in,  with  tail  white-caps  following,  and  I  sat  down  in  the 
stem-sheets  and  pointed  her  head-on  to  the  shore.  The  instant 
the  bow  struck,  a,  wave  came  over  the  stern  that  washed  crew 
and  cargo  ashore,  and  saved  a  deal  of  trouble.  We  shivered 
in  the  lee  of  a  boulder  all  the  rest  of  the  day,  and  froze  all 
the  night  through.  In  the  morning  the  tempest  had  gone 
down,  and  we  paddled  down  to  the  camp  without  any  unneces- 
sary delay.  We  were  so  starved  that  we  ate  up  the  rest  of  the 
Brigade's  provisions,  and  then  set  out  to  Carson  to  tell  them 
about  it  and  ask  their  forgiveness.  It  was  accorded,  upon 
payment  of  damages. 

We  made  many  trips  to  the  lake  after  that,  and  had  many 
a  hair-breadth  escape  and  blood-curdling  adventure  which,  will 
never  be  recorded  in  any  history. 



IEES  OLVED  to  have  a  horse  to  ride.  I  had  never  seen  such 
wild,  free,  magnificent  horsemanship  outside  of  a  circus 
as  these  picturesquely-clad  Mexicans,  Califomians  and  Mexi- 
canized  Americans  displayed  in  Carson  sti-eets  every  day. 
How  they  rode  !  Leaning  just  gently  forward  out  of  the  per- 
pendicular,  easy  and  nonchalant,  with  broad  slouch-hat  brim 
blown  square  up  in  front,  and  long  riata  swinging  above  the 
hes^d,  they  swept  through  the  town  like  the  wind !  The  next 
minute  they  were  only  a  sailing  puff  of  dust  on  the  far  desert. 
If  they  trotted,  they  sat  up  gallantly  and.  gracefolly,  and 
seemed  part  of  the  horse ;  did  riot  go  jiggering  up  and-  down 
after  the  silly  Miss-Nancy  fashion  of  the  riding-schools.  I  had 
quickly  learned  to  tell  a  horse  from  a  cow,  and  was  ftdl  of 
anxiety  to  learn  more.     I  was  resolved  to  buy  a  horse. 

"While  the  thought  was  rankling  in  my  mind,  the  auctioneer 
came  skurrying  through  the  plaza  on  a  black  beast  that  had  as 
many  humps  and  corners  on  him  as  a  dromedary,  and  was 
necessarily  uncomely ;  but  he  was  "  going,  going,  at  twenty- 
two  ! — horse,  saddle  and  bridle  at  twenty-two  dollars,  gentle^ 
men ! "  and  I  could  liardly  resist. 

A  man  whom  I  did  not  know  (he  turned  out  to  be  the 
auctioneer's  brother)  noticed  the  wistful  look  in  my  eye,  and 
observed  that  that  was  a  very  remarkable  horse  to  be  going  at 
such  a  price ;  and  added  that  the  saddle  alone  was  worth  the 
money.  It  was  a  Spanish  saddle,  with  ponderous  tapidaros, 
and  furnished  with  the  ungainly  sole-leather  covering  with 



the  unspelliable  nape.  I  said  I  had  half  a  notion  to  bid. 
Then  this  keen-eyed  person  appeared  to  me  to  be  "  taking  my 
measure" ;  but  I  dismissed  the  suspicion  when  he  spoke,  for  his 
manner  was  full  of  guileless  candor  and  truthfulness.  Said  he  : 
"  I  know  that  horse — ^know  him  well.  You  are  a  stranger, 
I  take  it,  and  so  you  might  think  he  was  an  American  horse, 


maybe,  but  I  assure  you  he  is  not.  He  is  nothing  of  the  kind ; 
but — excuse,  my  speaking  in  a  low  voice,  other  people  being 
near— he  is,  without  the  shadow  of  a  doubt,  a  Genuine  Mexu 
can  Plug ! " 

I  did  not  know  what  a  Genuine  Mexican  Plug  was,  but 
there  was  something  about  this  man's  way  of  saying  it,  that 
made  me  swear  inwardly  that  I  would  own  a  Genuine  Mexi- 
can Plug,  or  die. 

"Has  he  any  other — er — advantages?"  I  inquired,  sup- 
pressing what  eagerness  I  could. 



He  hooked  his  forefinger  in  the  pocket  of* my  army-shirf^ 
led  me  to  one  side,  and  breathed  in  my  ear  impressively  these 
words : 

"  He  can  out-buck  anything  in  America !  " 
"  Going,  going,  going — at  twent-ty-iouT  dollars  and  a  half, 
gen — " 

"  Twenty-seven !  "  I  shouted,  in  a  frenzy. 
"  And  sold ! "  said  the  auctioneer,  and  passed  over  the 
Genuine  Mexican  Plug  to  me. 

I  could  scarcely  contain  my  exidtation.  I  paid  the  money, 
and  put  the  animal  in  a  neighboring,  liverj'-stable  to  dine  and 
rest  himself.  ' 

jt;      In  the  afternoon  I  brought  the  creature  into  the  plaza, 
and, certain  citizens  held  him  by  the  head,  and  others  by 

the  tail,  while  I  mounted 
him.  As  soon  as  they  let 
go,  he  placed  all  his  feet 
in  a  bimch  together,  low- 
ered his  back,  and  then 
suddenly  arched  it  upward, 
and  shot  me  straight  iato. 
the  air  a  matter  of  three 
or  four  feet!  I  came  as 
straight  down  again,  lit  in 
Aii"''  11^^'''  ^'H^^^'^'^S)  ^13  *^®  saddle,  went  instantly 
'•^  ■."''.Bm»/iI^«^^''^^%1^B  ^P  again,  came  down  al- 
most on  the  high  pommel, 
shot  up  again,  and  came 
down  on  the  horse's  neck — 
all  in  the, space  of  three  or 
four  seconds.  Then  he  rose 
and  stood  almost  straight 
up  on  his  hind  feet,  and  I, 
clasping  his  lean  neck  des- 
perately, slid  back  into  the  saddle,  and  held  on.  He  came 
down,  and  immediately  hoisted  his  heels  into  the  air,  .deliver- 
ing a  vicious  kick  at  the  sky,  and  stood  on  his  forefeet. 




And  tlien  down  he  came  once  more,  and  began  the  original 
exercise  of  shooting  me  straight  up  again.  The  third  time  I 
went  up  I  heard  a  stranger  say : 

"  Oh,  donH  he  buck,  though ! " 

While  I  was  up,  somebody  struck  the  horse  a  sounding 
thwack  with,  a  leathern  strap,  and  when  I  anived  again  the 
Genuine  Mexican  Plug  was  not  there.  A  Californian  youth 
chased  him  up  and  caught  him,  and  asked  if  he  might  have  a 
ride.  I  granted  him  that  luxury.  ,  He  mounted  the  Genuine, 
got  lifted  into  the  air  once, 
but  sent  his  spurs  home  as 
he  descended,  and  the  horse 
darted  away  like  a  tele- 
gram. He  soared  over 
three  fences  like  a  bird, 
and  disappeared  down  the 
road  toward  the  "Washoe 

I  sat  down  on  a  stone, 
with  a  sigh,  and  by  a  nat- 
ural impulse  one  of  my 
hands  sought  my  forehead, 
and  the  other  the  base  of 
my  stomach.  I  believe  I 
never  appreciated,  till  then,  the  poverty  of  the  human  ma- 
chinery-:—for  I  still  needed  a  hand  or  two  to  place  elsewhere. 
Pen  cannot  describe  how  I  was  jolted  up.  Imagination  can- 
not conceive  how  disjointed  I  was — how  internally,  externally 
and  universally  I  was  unsettled,  mixed  up  and  ^ptured. 
There  was  a  sympathetic  crowd  around  me,  though. 

One  elderly-looking  comforter  said : 

"Stranger,  you've  been  taken  in.  Everybody  in  this 
camp  knows  that  horse.  Any  child,  any  Injun,  could  have 
told  you  that  he'd  buck ;  he  is  the  very  worst  devil  to  buck  on 
the  continent  of  America.  Tou  hear  me.  I'm  Curry.  Old 
Curry.  Old  Abe  Curry.  And  moreover,  he  is  a  simon-pure, 
out-and-out,  genuine  d — d  Mexican  phig,  and  an  uncommon 




mean  one  at  that,  too.  Why,  you  turnip,  if  yon  had  laid  low 
and  kept  dark,  there's  chances  to  buy  an  Ameriocm  horse  for 
mighty  little  more  than  you  paid  for  that  bloody  old  foreign 

I  gave  no  sign ;  but  I  made  up  my  mind  that  if  the 
auctioneer's  brother's  funeral  took  place  while  I  was  in  the 
Territory  I  would  postpone  all  other  recreations  and  attend  it. 
After  a  gallop  of  sixteen  miles  the  Califomian  youth  and 
the  Genuine  Mexican  Plug  came  tearing  into  town,  again, 
shedding  foam-flakes  like  the  spume-spray  that  drives  before  a 
typhoon,  and,  with  one  final  skip  over  a  wheelbarrow  and  a 
Chinaman,  cast  anchor  in  front  of  the  "  ranch." 

Such  panting  and  blowing !  Such  spreading  and  contract^ 
ing  of  the  red  equine  nostrils,  and  glaring  of  the  wild  equine 
eye!     But  was  the  imperial  beast  stibjugated?     Indeed  lie 

was  not. 
His  lord- 
ship the 
Speaker  of 
the  House 
thought  he 
was,  and 
him  to  go 
down  to  the 
Capitol;  but 
the  first 
dash  the 

made  was  over  a  pile  of  telegraph  poles  half  as  high  as  a 
church;  and  his  time  to  the  Capitol— one  mile  and  three 
quarters— remains  unbeaten  to  this  day.  But  then  he  took  an 
advantage— he  left  out  the  mile,  and  only  did  the  thr^fee  quar- 
ters. That  is  to  say,  he  made  a  straight  cut  across  lots,  prefer- 
ring fences  and  ditches  to  a  crooked  road;  and  when  the 
Speaker  got  to  the  Capitol  he  said  he  had  been  in  the  air  so 
much  he  felt  as  if  he  had  made  the  trip  on  a  comet. 

KIDrNO    THE    M,UB. 



In  the  evening  the  Speaker  came  home  afoot  for  exemise, 
and  got  the  Genuine  towed  back  behind  a  quartz  wagon. 
The  next  day  I  loaned  the  animal  to  the  Clerk  of  the  House 
to  go  down  to  the  Dana  silver  mine,  six  miles,  and  he  walked 

back  for  exercise,  and 
got  the  horse  towed. 
Everybody  I  loaned 
him  to  always  walked 
back ;  they  never  could 
get  enough  exercise 
any  other  way.  Still, 
I  continued  to  loan 
him  to  anybody  who 
was  willing  to  borrow 
him,  my  idea  being  to 
get  him  crippled,  and 
throw  him  on  the  bor- 
rower's hands,  or  killed, 
and  make  the  borrower 
pay  for  him.  But  some- 
how nothing  ever  hap- 
pened to  him.  He  took 
chances  that  no  other 
horse  ever  took  and 
survived,  but  he  always  came  out  safe.  It*  was  his  daily 
habit  to  try  experiments  that  had  always  before  been  con- 
sidered impossible,  but  he  always  got  tiirough.  Sometimes 
he  miscalculated  a  little,  and  did  not  get  his  rider  through  in- 
tact, but  M  always  got  through  himself.  Of  course  I  had 
tried  to  sell  him ;  but  that  was  a  stretch  of  simplicity  which 
met  with  little  sympathy.  The  auctioneer  stormed  up  and 
down  the  streets  on  him  for  four  days,  dispersing  the  populace, 
interrupting  business,  and  destroying  children,  and  never  got  a 
bid^at  least  never  any  but  the  eighteen-dollar  one  he  hired 
a  notoriously  substanceless  bummer  to  make.  The  people 
only  smiled  pleasantly,  and  restrained  their  desire  to  buy,  if 
they  had  any.     Then  the  auctioneer  brought  in  his  biU,  .and  I 


184  THE    ANIMAL    DISPOSED    OF. 

witlidre-w  the  horse  from  the  market.  We  tried  to  trade  him 
off  at  private  vendue  next,  offering  him  at  a  sacrifice  for 
second-hand  tombstones,  old  iron,  temperance  tracts — any 
kind  of  property.  But  holders  were  stiff,,  and  we  retired  from 
the  market  again.  I  never  tried  to  ride  the  horse  any  more. 
Walking  was  good  enough  exercise  for  a  man  like  me,  that 
had  nothing  the  matter  with  him  except  ruptures,  internal  in- 
juries, and  such  things.  Finally  I  tried  to  give  him  away. 
But  it  was  a  failure.  Parties  said  earthquakes  were  handy 
enough  on  the  Pacific  coast — ^they  did  not  wish  to  own  one. 
As  a  last  resort  I  offered  him  to  the  Governor  for  the  use  of 
the  "Brigade."  His  face  lit  up  eagerly  at  first,  but  toned 
down  again,  and  he  said  the  thing  would  be  too  palpable. 

Just  then  the  livery  stable  man  brought  in  his  biU  for  six 
'weeks'  keeping — stall-room  for  the  horse,  fifteen  dollars ;  hay 
,for  the  horse,  two  hundred  and  fifty!  The  Genuine  Mexican 
Plug  had  eaten  a  ton  of  the  article,  and  the  man  said  he  would 
have  eaten  a  hundred  if  he  had  let  him. 

I  will  remark  here,  in  all  seriousness,  that  the  regular  price 
of  hay  during  that  year  and  a  part  of  the  next  was  really  two 
hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  ton.  During  a  part  of  the  previous 
year  it  had  sold  at  five  hundred  a  ton,  in  gold,  and  during  the 
winter  before  that  there  was  such  scarcity  of  the  article  that 
in  several  instances  small  quantities  had  brought  eight  hundred 
dollars  a  ton  m  coin !  The  consequence  might  be '  guessed 
without  my  telling  it:  peopled  turned  their  stock  loose  to 
starve,  and  before  the  spring  arrived  Carson  and  Eagle  valleys 
were  almost  literally  carpeted  with  their  carcases !  Any  old 
settler  there  will  verify  these  statements. 

I  managed  to  pay  the  liveiy  bill,  and  that  same  day  I  gave 
the  Genuine  Mexican  Plug  to  a  passing  Arkansas  emigrant 
whom  fortune  delivered  into  my  hand.  If  this  ever  meets  his 
eye,  he  will  doubtless  remember  the  donation. 

Now  whoever  has  had  the  luck  to  ride  a  real  Mexican  plug 
will  recognize  the  animal  depicted  in  this  chapter,  and  hardly 
consider  him  exaggerated — but  the  uninitiated  will  feel  justi- 
fied in  regarding  his  portrait  as  a  fancy  sketch,  perhaps. 


ORIGINALLY,  Nevada  was  a  part  of  Utali  and  was 
called  Cal'son  county ;  and  a  pretty  large  county  it  was, 
too.  Certain  of  its  valleys  produced  no  end  of  hay,  and  this 
attracted  small  colonies  of  Mormon  stock-raisers  and  farmers 
toithem.  A  few  orthodox  Americans  straggled  in  from  Cali- 
fornia, but  no  love  was  lost  between  the  two  classes  of  colo- 
nists. There  was  little  or  no  friendly  intercourse ;  each  party 
staid  to  itself  The  Mormons  were  largely  in  the  majority, 
and  had  the  additional  advantage  of  being  peculiarly  under 
the  protection  of  the  Mormon  government  of  the  Territory. 
Therefore  they  could  aiford  to  be  distant,  and  even  peremptory 
toward  their  neighbors.  One  of  the  traditions  of  Carson 
Valley  illustrates  the  condition  of  things  that  prevailed  at  the 
time  I  speak  of.  The  hired  girl  of  one  of  the  American 
families  was  Irish,  and  a  Catholic;  yet  it  was  noted  with  sur- 
prise that  she  was  the  only  person  outside  of  the  Mormon  ring 
who  could  get  favors  from  the  Mormons.  She  asked  kind- 
nesses of  them  often,  and  always  got  them.  It  was  a  mystery 
to  everybody.  But  one  day  as  she  was  passing  out  at  the 
door,  a  large  bowie  knife  dropped  from  under  her  apron,  and 
when  her  mistress  asked  for  an  explanation  she  observed  that 
she  was  going  out  to  "  borry  a  wash-tub  from  the  Mormons ! " 
In  1868  silver  lodes  were  discovered  in  "  Carson  County," 
and  then  the  aspect  of  things  changed.  Californians  began  to 
flock  in,  and  the  American  element  was  soon  m  the  majority. 



Allegiance  to  Brigham  Young  and  Utah  was  renounced,  and 
a  temporary  territorial  government  for  "Washoe"  was  insti- 
tuted by  the  citizens.  Governor  Eoop  was  the  first  and  only 
chief  magistrate  of  it.  In  due  course  of  time  Congress  passed 
a  bill  to  organize  "  Nevada  Tenitory,"  and  President  Lincoln 
sent  out  Governor  Nye  to  supplant  Koop. 

At  this  time  the  population  of  the  Territory  was  about 
twelve  or  fifteen  thousand,  and  rapidly  increasing.    Silver 

mines  were 
being  vigor- 
ously devel- 
oped and 
silver  mills 
Business  of 
all  kinds  was 
active  and 
and  growing 
more  so  day 
by  day. 

The  peo- 
ple were  glad 
to  have  a  le- 
but  did  not 
enjoy  having 
from  distant 
States  put  in 

over  them — a  sentiment  that  was  natural  enough.  They  thought 
the  officials  should  have  been  chosen  from  amone  themselves 
'—from  among  prominent  citizens  who  had  earned  a  right  to 



such  promotion,  and  wlio  would  be  in  sympathy  with  the 
populace  and  likewise  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  needs 
of  the  Territory.  They  were  right  in  viewing  the  matter 
thus,  without  doubt.  The  new  officers  were  "emigrants," 
and  that  was  no  title  to  anybody's  affection  or  admiration 

The  new  government  was  received  with  considerable  cool- 
ness. It  was  not  only  a  foreign  intruder,  but  a  poor  one.  It 
was  not  even  worth  plucking — except  by  the  smallest  of  small 
fry  office-seekers  and  such.  Everybody  knew  that  Congress 
had  appropriated  only  twenty  thousand  dollars  a  year  in  green- 
backs for  its  support— about  money  enough  to  run  a  quartz 
mill  a  month.  And  everybody  knew,  also,  that  the  first  year's 
money  was  still  in  Washington,  and  that  the  getting  hpld  of 
it  would  be  a  tedious  and  difficult  process.  Carson  City  was 
too  wary  and  too  wise  to  open  up  a  credit  account  with  the 
imported  bantHng  with  anything  like  indecent  haste. 

There  is  something  solemnly  funny  a')out  the  struggles  of 
anew-born  Territorial  government  to  get  a  start  in  this' world. 
Ours  had  a  trying  time  of  it.  The  Organic  Act  and  the 
"instructions"  from  the  State  Department  commanded  that  a 
legislature  should  be  elected  at  such-and-such  a  time,  and  its 
sittings  inaugurated  at  such-and-such  a  date.  It  was  easy  to 
get  legislators,  even  at  three  dollars  a  day,  although  board  was 
four  dollars  and  fifty  cents,  for  distinction  has  its  charm  in 
Neyada  as  well  as  elsewhere,  and  there  were  plenty'  of  patriotic 
souls  out  of  employment ;  but  to  get  a  legislative  hall  for  them 
to  meet  in  was  another  matter  altogether.  Carson  blandly 
declined  to  give  a  room  rent-free,  or  let  one  to  the  government 
on  credit. 

But  when  Curry  heard  of  the  difficulty,  he  cafiie  forward, 
solitary  and  alone,'  and  shouldered  the  Ship  of  State  over  the 
bar  and  got  her  afloat  again.  I  refer  to  "  Curiy — Old  Curry 
— Old -45^  Curry."  But  for  him  the  legislature  would  have 
been  obliged  to  sit  in  the  desert.  He  offered  his  large  stone 
building  just  outside  the  capital  limits,  rent-free,  and  it  was 
gladly  accepted.     Then  he  built  a  horse-railroad  from  town 



to '  the  capitol,  and  carried  the  legislators  gratis.     He  also 
furnished  pine  benches  and  chairs  for  the  legislature,   and 



covered  the  floors  with  clean  saw-dust  by  way  of  carpet  and 
spittoon  combined.  But  for  Curry  the  government  would 
have  died  in  its  tender  infancy.  A  canvas  partition  to  sepa- 
rate the  Senate  from  the  House  of  Kepresentatives  was  put 
up  by  the  Secretary,  at  a  cost  of  three  dollars  and  forty  cents, 
but  the  United  States  dedined  to  pay  for  it.  Upon  being  re- 
minded that  the  "  instructions "  permitted  the  payment  of  a 
liberal  rent  for  a  legislative  hall,  and  that  that  money  was  saved 
to  the  country  by  Mr.  Curry's  generosity,  the  United  States 
said  that  did  not  alter  the  matter,  and  the  three  dollars  and 
forty  cents  would  be  subtracted  from  the  Secretary's  eighteen 
hundred  dollar  salary — and  it  was  ! 

The  matter  of  printing  was  from  the  beginning  an  inter- 
esting feature  of  the  new  government's  difficulties.  The 
Secretary  was  sworn  to  obey  his  volume  of  written  "  instruc- 
tions,'* and  these  commanded  him  to  do  two  certain  things 
without  fail,  viz. : 

1.  Get  the  House  and  Senate  journals  printed ;  and, 

2.  For  this  M^ork,  pay  one  dollar  and  fifty  cents  per 
"  thousand "  for  composition,  and  one  dollar  and  fifty  cents 
per  "token"  for  press-work,  in  greenbacks. 

It  was  easy  to  swear  to  do  these  two  things,  but  it  was  en- 
tirely impossible  to  do  more  than  one  of  them.  "When  green- 
backs had  gone  down  to  forty  cents  on  the  dollar,  the  prices 
regularly  charged  everybody  by  printing  establishments  were 
one  dollar  and  fifty  cents  per  "  thousand  "  and  one  dollar  and 


fifty  cents  per  "  token,"  in  gold.  The  "  instructions "  com- 
manded that  the  Secretary  regard  a  paper  dollar  issued  by  the 
government  as  equal  to  any  other  dollar  issued  by  the  gov- 
ernment. Hence  the  printing  of  th6  journals  was  dis- 
continued. Then  the  United  States  sternly  rebuked  the 
Secretary  for  disregarding  the  "instructions,"  and  warned  him 
to  correct  his  ways.  Wherefore  he,  got  some  printing  done, 
forwarded  the  bill  to  Washington  with  full  exhibits  of  the 
high  prices  of  things  in  the  Territory,  and  called  attention  to 
a  printed  market  report  wherein  it  would  be  observed  that 
even  hay  was  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  ton.  The 
United  States  responded  by  subtracting  the  printing-bill  from 
the  Secretary's  suffering  salary — and  moreover  remarked  with 
dense  gravity  that  he  would  find  nothing  in  his  "  instructions  " 
requiring  him  to  pilrchase  hay ! 

Nothing  in  this  world  is  palled  in  such  impenetrable 
obscurity  as  a  U.  S.  Treasury  Comptroller's  understanding. 
The  very  fires  of  the  hereafter  could  get  up  nothing  more 
than  a  fitful  glimmer  in  it.  In  the  days  I  speak  of  he  never 
could  be  made  to  comprehend  why  it  was  that  twenty 
thousand  dollars  would  not  go  as  far  in  Nevada,  where  all 
commodities  ranged  at  an  enormous  figure,  as  it  would  in  the 
other  Territories,  where  exceeding  cheapness  was  the  rule. 
He  was  an  officer  who  looked  out  for  the  little  expenses  all 
the  time.  The  Secretary  of  the  Territory  kept  his  office  in 
his  bedroom,  as  I  before  remarked;  and  he  charged  the 
United  States  no  rent,  although  his  "  instructions "  provided 
for  that  item  and  he  could  have  justly  taken  advantage  of  it 
(a  thing  which  I  would  have  done  with  more  than  lightning 
promptness  if  I  had  been  Secretary  myself).  But  the  United 
States  never  applauded  this  devotion.  Indeed,  I  think  my 
country  was  ashamed  to  have  so  improvident  a  person  in  its 

Those  "instructions"  (we  used  to  read  a  chapter  from 
them  every  morning,  as  intellectual  gymnastics,  and  a  couple 
of  chapters  in  Sunday  school  every  Sabbath,  for  they  treated 
of  all  subjects  under  the  sun  and  had  much  valuable  religious 


matter  in  them  along  with  the  other  statistics)  tliose  "  instruc- 
tions" commanded  that  pen-knives,  envelopes,  pens  and 
writing-paper  be  furnished  the  members  of  the  legislature. 
So  the  Secretary  made  the  purchase  and  the  distribution. 
The  knives  cost  three  dollars  apiece.  There  was  one  too 
many,  and  the  Secretary  gave  it  to  the  Clerk  of  the  House  of 
Representatives.  The  United  States  said  the  Clerk  of  the 
.House  was  not  a  " member  "  of  the  legislature,  and  took  that 
three  dollars  out  of  the  Secretary's  salary,  as  usual. 

White  men  charged  three  or  four  dollars  a  "load"  for 
sawing,  up  stove-wood.  The  Secretary  was  sagacious  enough 
to  know  that  the  United  States  would  never  pay  any  such 
price  as  that ;  so  he  got  an  Indian  to  saw  up  a  load  of  office 
wood  at  one  dollar  and  a  half.  He  made  out  the  usual 
voucher,  but  signed  no  name  to  it — simply  appended  a  note 
explaining  that  an  Indian  had  done  the  work,  and  had  done 
it  in  a  very  capable  and  satisfactory  way,  but  could  not  sign 
the  voucher  owing  to  lack  of  ability  in  the  necessary  direc- 
tion. The  Secretary  had  to  pay  that  dollar  and  a  half.  He 
thought  the  United  States  would  admire  both  his  economy  and 
his  honesty  in  getting  the  work  done  at  half  price  and  not 
putting  a  pretended  Indian's  signature  te  the  voucher,  but  the 
United  States  did  not  see  it  in  that  light.  .The  United  States 
was  too  much    accustomed    to   employing    doUar-and-a-half 


thieves  in  all  manner  of  official  capacities  to  regard  his  expla- 
nation of  the  voucher  as  having  any  foundation  in  fact. 

But  the  next  time  the  Indian  sawed  wood  for  us  I  taught 
him  to  make  a  cross  at  the  bottom  of  the  voucher — it  looked 



like  a  cross  tliat  liad  been  drunk  a  year — and  then  I  "  wit- 
nessed" it  and  it  went  through  all  right.  The  United  States 
never  said  a  word.    I  was  sorry  I  had  not  made  the  voucher 

for  a  thousand  loads  of  wood  instead  of  one. 

The  gpvem- 


ment  of  my  country  snuhs  honest  simplicity  hut  fondles 
artistic  villainy,  and  I  think  I  might  have  developed  into,  a 
very  capable  pickpocket  if  I  had  remained  in  the  public, 
service  a  year  or  two. 

That  was  a  fine  collection  of  sovereigns,  that  first  Nevada 
legislature.  They  levied  taxes  to  the  amount  of  thirty  or 
forty  thousand  dollars  and  ordered  expenditures  to  the  extent 



of  about  a  million.  Yet  they  had  their  little  periodical  explo- 
sions of  economy  like  all  other  bodies  of  the  kind.  A  mem- 
ber proposed  to  save  three  dollars  a  day  to  the  nation  by 
dispensing  with  the  Chaplain.  And  yet  that  short-sighted 
man  needed  the  Chaplain  more  than  any  other  member,  per- 
haps, for  he  generally  sat  with  his  feet  on  his  desk,  eating 
^■aw  turnips,  during  the  morning  prayer. 

The  legislature  sat  sixty  days,  and  passed  private  toll- 
road  franchises  all  the  time.  When  they  adjourned  it  waa 
estimated  that  every  citizen  owned  about  three  franchises, 
and  it  was  believed  that  unless  Congress  gave  the  Territory 
another  degi-ee  of  longitude  there  would  not  be  room  enough 
to  accommodate  the  toll-roads.  The  ends  of  them  were 
hanging  over  the  boundary  line  everywhere  like  a  fringe. 


The  fact  is,  the  freighting  business  had  grown  to  such  im- 
portant proportions  that  there  was  nearly  as  much  excitement 
over  suddenly  acquired  toll-road  fortunes  as  over  the  wonder- 
ful silver  mines. 


BY  and  by  I  was  smitten  with  the  silver  fever.  "  Prospect- 
ing parties  "  were  leaving  for  the  mountains  every  day, 
and  discovering  and  taking  possession  of  rich  silver-bearing 
lodes  and  ledges  of  quartz.  Plainly  this  was  the  road  to  for- 
tune. The  great  "  Gould  and  Curry  "  mine  was  held  at  three 
or  four  hundred  dollars  a  foot  when  we  arrived ;  but  in  two 
months  it  had  sprung  up  to  eight  hundred.  The  "  Ophir" 
had  been  worth  only  a  mere  trifle,  a  year  gone  by,  and  now  it 
was  selling  at  nearly Jvur  thousand  dollars  afoot!  Not  a 
mine  could  be  named  that  had  not  experienced  an  astonishing 
advance  in  value  within  a  short  time.  Everybody  was  talking 
about  these  marvels.  Go  where  you  would,  you  heard  nothing 
else,  from  morning  till  far  into  the  night.  Tom  So-and-So  had 
sold  out  of  the  "Am^anda  Smith"  for  $40,000— hadn't  a  cent 
when  he  "took  up"  the  ledge  six  months  ago.  John  Jones 
had  sold  half  his  interest  in  the  "  Bald  Eagle  and  Mary  Ann  " 
for  $65,000,  gold  coin,  and  gone  to  the  States  for  his  family. 
The  widow  Brewster  had  "  struck  it  rich "  in  the  "  Golden 
Fleece  "  and  sold  ten  feet  for  $18,000 — hadn't  money  enough 
to  buy  a  crape  bonnet  when  Sing-Sing  Tommy  killed  her 
husband  at  Baldy  Johnson's  wake  last  spring.  The  "  Last 
Chance"  had  found  a  "clay  casing"  and  knew  they  were 
"  right  on  the  ledge  " — consequence,  "  feet "  that  went  begging 
yesterday  were  worth  a  brick  house  apiece  to-day,  and  seedy 
owners  who  could  not  get  trusted  for  a  drink  at  any  bar  in  the 
country  yesterday  were  roaring  drunk  on  champagne  to-day 



and  Rough  and  Eeady "  lawsuit. 

and  had  hosts  of  warm  personal  friends  in  a  town  where  they 
had  forgotten  how  to  bow  or  shake  hands  from  long-continued 
want  of  practice.  Johnny  Morgan,  a  common  loafer,  had  gone 
to  sleep  in  the  gutter  and  waked  up  worth  a  hundred  thousand 
dollars,  in  consequence  of  the  decision  in  the  "  Lady  Franklin 

And  so  on — day  in  and  day 
out  the  talk 
pelted  our 
ears  and  the 
waxed  hot- 
ter and  hot- 
ter around 

I  would 
have  been 
more  or  less 
than  human 
if  I  had  not 
gone  mad 
like  the  rest. 
Cart-loads  of 
solid  silver 
bricks,  as 


large  as  pigs  of  lead,  were  arriving  from  the  mills  every  day, 
and  such  sights  as  that  gave  substance  to  the  wild  talk  about 
me.     I  succumbed  and  grew  as  frenzied  as  the  craziest. 

Every  few  days  news  would  come  of  the  discovery  of  a 
bran-new  mining  region ;  immediately  the  papers  would  teem 
with  accounts  of  its  richness,  and  away  the  surplus  population 
would'  scamper  to  take  possession.  By  the  time  I  was  fairly 
inoculated  with  the  disease,  "  Esmeralda  "  had  just  had  a  run 
and  "Humboldt"  was  beginning  to  shriek  for  attention. 
"  Humboldt !  Humboldt ! "  was  the  new  cry,  and  straightway 
Humboldt,  the  newest  of  the  new^  the  richest  of  the  rich,  the 
most  marvellous  of  the  marvellous  discoveries  in  silver-land, 
was  occupying  two  cohimns  of  the.  public  prints  to  "Esipe- 

WHAT    MADE    ME    CRAZY.  195 

ralda's"  one.  I  was  just  on  the  point  of  starting  to  Esmeralda, 
but  turned  wltli  the  tide  and  got  ready  for  Humboldt.  That 
the  reader  may  see  what  moved  me,  and  what  would  as  surely 
have  moved  him  had  he  been  therie,  I  insert  here  one  of  the 
newspaper  letters  of  the  day.  It  and  seveM  other  letters 
from  the  same  calni  hand  were  the  main  means  of  converting 
me.  I  shall  not  garble  the  extract,  but  put  it  in  just  as  it  ap- 
peared in  the  Daily  Territorial  Enterprise  : 

But  what  about  our  mines  ?  I  shall  be  candid  with  you.  I  shall  express 
an  honest  opinion,  based  upon  a  thorough  examination.  Humboldt  county- 
is  the  richest  mineral  region  upon  God's  footstool.  Each  mountain  range  is 
gorged  with  the  precious  ores.    Humboldt  is  the  true  Golconda. 

The  other  day  an  assay  of  mere  croppings  yielded  exceeding  four 
thousand  doUarg  to  the  ton.  A  week  or  two  ago  an  assay  of  just  such  sur- 
face developments  made  returns  of  seDen  thousand  dollars  to  the  ton.  Our 
mountains  are  full  of  rambling  prospectors.  Bach  day  and  almost  every 
hour  reveals  new  and  more  startling  evidences  of  the  profuse  and  intensified 
wealth  of  our  favored  county.  The  metal  is  not  silver  alone.  There  are 
distinct  ledges  of  auriferous  ore.  A  late  discovery  plainly  evinces  cinnabar. 
The  coarser  metals  are  in  gross  abundance.  Lately  evidences  of  bituminous 
coal  have  been  detected.  My  theory  has  ever  been  that  coal  js  a  ligneous  for- 
mation. I  told  Col.  Whitman,  in  times  past,  that  the  neighborhood  of  Dayton 
(Nevada)  betrayed  no  present  or  previous  manifestations  of  a  ligneous  foun- 
dation, and  that  hence  I  had  no  confidence  in  his  lauded  coal  mines.  I 
repeated  the  same  doctrine  to  the  exultant  coal  discoverers  of  Humboldt.  I 
talked  with  my  friend  Captain  Burch  on  the  subject.  My  pyrhanism  van- 
ished upon  his  statement  that  in  the  very  region  referred  to  he  had  seen 
petrified  trees  of  the  length  of  two  hundred  feet.  Then  is  the  fact  estab- 
lished that  huge  forests  once  cast  their  grim  shadows  over  this  remote 
section.  I  am  firm  In  the  coal  faith.  Have  no  fears  of  the  mineral  resources 
of  Humboldt  county.    They  are  immense — ^incalculable. 

Let  me  state  one  or  two  things  which  will  help  the  reader 
to  better  comprehend  certain  items  in  the  above.  At  this 
time,  our  near  neighbor.  Gold  Hill,  was  the  most  successful 
silver  mining  locality  in  Nevada.  It  was  from  there  that  more 
than  half  the  daily  shipments  of  silver  bricks  came.  "  Yery 
rich"  (and  scarce)  Gold  Hill  ore  yielded  from  $100  to  $400 
to  the  ton ;  but  the  usual  yield  was  only  $20  to  $40  per  ton — 
that  is  to  say,  each  hundred  pounds  of  ore  yielded  from  one 
dollat  to  two  dollars.     But  the  reader  will  perceive  by  the 



above  extract,  that  in  Humboldt  from  one  fourth  to  nearly 
half  the  mass  was  silver!  That  is  to  say,  every  one  hun- 
dred pounds 
of  the  ore  had'* 
from  ^0  hwrtr^ 
,  ol/red  dollars 
up  to  about 
three  hundred 
and  fifty'  in 
it.  Some  days 
later  this  same 
wrote : 

I  have  Bpoken 
of  the  vast  and  i 
almost  fabulous 
wealth  of  this  region — ^it  i- 
The  intestines  of  our  m 
gorged  with  precious  ore  to  plethora.  I 
have  said  that  nature  has  so  shaped  our 
mountains  as  to  furnish  most  excellent 
facilities  for  the  working  of  our  mines. 
I  have  also  told  you  that  the  country 
about  here  is  pregnant  with  the  finest 
mill  sites  in  the  world.  But  what  is  the 
mining  history  of  Humboldt  ?  The  Sheba 
mine  is  in  the  hands  of  energetic  San 
Francisco  capitalists.  It  would  seem  that 
the  ore  is  combined  with  metals  that  ren- 
der it  difficult  of  reduction  with  our  im-  '^^w  ™  humboldt  MocuTAnra. 
perfect  mountain  machinery.  The  proprietors  have  combined  the  capital 
and  labor  hinted  at  in  my  exordium.  They  are  toiling  and  probing.  Their 
tunnel  has  reached  the  length  of  one  hundred  feet.  From  primal  assays 
alone,  coupled  with  the  development  of  the  mine  and  public  confidence  in 
the  continuance  of  effort,  the  stock  had  reared  itself  to  eight  hundred  dollars 
market  value.  I  do  not  know  that  one  ton  of  the  ore  has  been  converted 
into  current  metal.  I  do  know  that  there  are  many  lodes  in  this  section 
that  surpass  the  Sheba  in  primal  assay  value.  Listen  a  moment  to  the  cal- 
culations of  the  Sheba  operators.  They  purpose  transporting  the  ore  con- 
centrated to  Europe.  The  conveyance  from  Star  City  (its  locality)  to  Virginia 
City  will  cost  seventy  dollars  per  ton ;  from  Virginia  to  San  Francisco,  forty 
dollars  per  ton ;  from  thence  to  Liverpool,  its  destination,  ten  dollars  per  ton. 
Their  idea  ia  that  its  conglomerate  metals  will  reimburse  them  their  cost  of 

DECIDED    TO    GO.  197 

original  extraction,  the  price  of  transportation,  and  the  expense  of  reduction, 
and  that  then  a  ton  of  the  raw  ore  will  net  them  twelve  hundred  dollars. 
The  estimate  may  be  extravagant.  Cut  it  in  twain,  and  theproduct  is  enor- 
mous, far  transcending  any  previous  developments  of  our  racy  Territory. 

A  very  common  calculation  is  that  many  of  our  mines  .will  yield  five 
hundred  dollars  to  the  ton.  Such  fecundity  throws  the  ffloula*&  Curry,  the 
Ophir  and  the  Mexican,  of  your  neighborhood,  in  the  darkest  shadow.  I 
have  given  you  the  estimate  of  the  value  o(  a  single  developed  mine.  Its 
richness  is  Indexed  by  its  market  valuation.  The  people  of  Humboldt 
county  aiefeet  crazy.  As  I  write,  our  towns  are  near  deserted.  They  look 
as  languid  as  a  consumptive  girL  What  has  become  of  our  sinewy  and 
athletic  fellow-citizens?  They  are  coursing  through  ravines  and  over 
mountain  tops.  Their  tracks  are  visible  in  every  direction.  Occasionally  a 
horseman  will  dash  among  us.  His  steed  betrays  hard  usage.  He  alights 
before  his  adobe  dwelling,  hastily  exchanges  courtesies  with  his  townsmen, 
hurries  to  an  assay  office  and  from  thence  to  the  District  Recorder's.  In  the 
morning,  having  renewed  bis  provisional  supplies,  he  is  off  again  on  his 
wild  and  unbeaten  route.  Why,  the  fellow  numbers  already  his  feet  by  the 
thousands.  He  is  the  horse-leech.  He  has  the  craving  stomach  of  the 
shark  or  anaconda.    He  would  conqner  metallic  worlds. 

This  was  enough.  The  instant  we  had  finished  reading 
the  above  article,  four  of  us  decided  to  go  to  Humboldt.  We 
commenced  getting  ready  at  once.  And  we  also  commenced 
upbraiding  ourselves  for  not  deciding  sooner — for  we  were  in 
terror  lest  all  the  rich  mines  would  be  found  and  secured 
before  we  got  there,  and  we  might  have  to  put  up  with  ledges 
that  would  not  yield  more  than  two  or  three  hundred  dollars 
a  ton,  maybe.  An  hour  before,  I  would  have  felt  opulent  if 
I  had  owned  ten  feet  in  a  Gold  Hill  mine  whose  ore  produced 
twenty-five  dollars  to  the  ton ;  now  I  was  already  annoyed  at 
the  prospect  of  having  to  put  up  with  mines  the  poorest  of 
which  woidd  be  a  marvel  in  Gold  Hill. 


HUKEY,  was  the  word  I  "We  wasted  no  time.  Our 
party  consisted  of  four  persons — a  blacksmith  sixty 
years  of  age,  two  young  lawyers,  and  myself.  "We  bought  a 
wagon  and  two  miserable  old  horses.  We  put  eighteen 
'hundred  pounds  of  provisions  and  mining  tools  in  the  wagon 
and  drove  out  of  Carson  on  a  chilly  December  afternoon. 
The  horses  were  so  weak  and  old  that  we  soon  found  that  it 
would  be  better  if  one  or  two  of  us  got  out  and  walked.  It 
was  an  improvement.  Next,  we  found  that  it  would  be  better 
if  a  third  man  got  out.  That  was  an  improvement  also.  It 
was  at  this  time  that  I  volunteered  to  drive,  although  I  had 
never  driven  a  harnessed  horse  before  and  many  a  man  in 
such  a  position  would  have  felt  fairly  excused  from  such  a 
responsibility.  But  in  a  little  while  it  was  found  that  it 
would  be  a  fine  thing  if  the  driver  got  out  and  walked  also. 
It  was  at  this  time  that  I  resigned  the  position  of  driver,  and 
never  resumed  it  again.  "Within  the  hour,  we  found  that  it 
would  not  only  be  better,  but  was  absolutely  necessary,  that 
we  four,  taking  turns,  two  at  a  time,  should  put  our  hands 
against  the  end  of  the  wagon  and  push  it  through  the  sand, 
leaving  the  feeble  horses  little  to  do  but  keep  out  of  the  way 
and  hold  up  the  tongue.  Perhaps  it  is  well  for  one  to  know 
his  fate  at  first,  and  get  reconciled  to  it.  We  had  learned 
ours  in  one  afternoon.  It  was  plain  that  we  had  to  walk 
through  the  sand  and  shove  that  wagon  and  those  horses  two 
hundred  miles.  So  we  accepted  the  situation,  and  from  that 
time  forth  we  never  rode.  More  than  that,  we  stood  regular 
and  nearly  constant  watches  pushing  up  behind. 

HOW   WE    CONVEYED    OURSELVES    AND    TEAM.     199 

We  made  seven  miles,  and  camped  in  tlie  desert.  Young 
Clagett  (now  member  of  Congress  from  Montana)  unharnessed 
and  fed  and  watered  the  horses ;  Oliphant  and  I  cut  sage- 
brush, built  the  fire  and  brought  water  to  cook  with ;  and  old 
Mr.  Ballou  the.  blacksmith  did  the  cooking.  This  division  of 
labor,  and  this  appointment,  was  adhered  to  throughout  the 
journey.  We  had  no  tent,  and  so  we  slept  under  our  blankets 
in  the  open  plain.    We  were  so  tired  that  we  slept  soundly. 

We  were  fifteen  days  making  the  trip — two  hundi-ed 
miles ;  thirteen,  rather,  for  we  lay  by  a  couple  of  days,  in  one 


place,  to  let  the  horses  rest.  We  could  really  have  accom- 
plished the  journey  in  ten  days  if  we  had  towed  the  horses 
behind  the  wagon,  but  we  did  not  think  of  that  until  it  was 
too  late,  and  so  went  on  shoving  the  horees  and  the  wagon  too 
when  we  might  have  saved  half  the  labor.  Parties  who  met 
us,  occasionally,  advised  us  to  put  the  horses  in  the  wagon, 
but  Mr.  Ballou,  through  whose  iron-clad  earnestness  no  sar- 
casm could  pierce,  said  that  that  would  not  do,  because  the 
provisions  were  exposed  and  would  suffer,  the  horses  being 
"  bituminous  from  long  deprivation."  The  reader  will  excuse 
me  from  translating..  What  Mr.  Ballou  customarily  meant, 
when  he  used  a  long  word,  was  a  secret  between  himself  and 
his  Maker.  He.  was  one  of  the  best  and  kindest  hearted  men 
that  ever  graced  a  humble  sphere  of  life.    He  was  gentleness 


Rnd  simplicity  itself — and  unselfishness,  too.  Although  he  was 
snore  than  twice  as  old  as  the  eldest  of  us,  he  never  gave  him- 
6elf  any  airs,  privileges,  or  exemptions  on  that  account.  He  did 
a  young  man's  share  of  the  work ;  and  did  his  share  of  convers- 
ing and  entertaining  from  the  general  stand-point  of  any  age — 
not  from  the  arrogant,  overawing  summit-height  of  sixty  years. 
His  one  striking. peculiarity  was  his  Partingtonian  fashion  of 
loving  and  using  big  words  for  their  own  sokes,  and  inde- 
pendent of  any  bearing  they,  might  have,  upon  the  thought  he 
was  purposing  to  convey.  He  always  let  his  ponderous  syll*- 
blea  fall  with  an  easy  unconsciousness  that  left  them  wholly 
without  ofiiensiveness.  In  truth  his  air  was  so  natural  and  so 
simple  that  one  was  always  catching  himself  accepting  his 
stately  sentences  as  meaning  something,  when  -they  really 
meant  nothing  in  the  world.  If  a  word  was  long  and  grand 
a,nd  resonant,  that  was  suflScient  to  win  the  old  man's  love, 
and  he  would  drop  that  wbrd  into  the  most  out-of-the-way 
place  in  a  sentence  or  a  subject,  and  be  as  pleased  with  it  as 
if  it  were  perfectly  luminous  with  meaning. 

We  four  always  spread  our  common  stock  of  blankets 
together  on  the  frozen  ground,  and  slept  side  by  side ;  and 
finding  that  our  foolish,  long-legged  hound  pup  had  a  deal  of 
animal  heat  in  him,  Oliphant  got  to  admitting  him  to  the  bed, 
between  himself  and  Mr. ,  BaUou,  hugging  the  dog's  warm 
back  to  his  breast  and  finding  great  comfort  in  it.  But  in  the 
night  the  pup  would  get  stretchy  and  brace  his  feet  against  the 
old  man's  back  and  shove,  grunting  complacently  the  whUe ; 
and  now  and  then,  being  warm  and  snug,  grateful  and  happy, 
he  would  paw  the  old  man's  back  simply  in  excess  of  comfort ; 
and  at  yet  other  times  he  would  dream  of  the  chase  and  in 
his  sleep  tug  at  the  old  man's  back  hair  and  bark  in  his  ear. 
The  old  gentleman  complained  mildly  about  these  femiliarities, 
at  last,  and  when  he  got  through  with  his  statement  he  said 
that  such  a  dog  as  that  was  not  a  proper  animal  to  admit  to  bed 
with  tired  men,  because  he  was  "  so  meretricious  in  his  move- 
ments and  so  organic  in  his  emotions."  "We  turned  the  dog  out. 

It  was  a  hard,  wearing,  toilsome  journey,  but  it  had  its 



bright  side;  for  after  each  ^ay  was  done  and  our  wolfish 
hunger  appeased  with  a  hot  supper  of  fried  bacon,  bread,  mo- 



lasses  and  black  cofiee,  the  pipe-smoking,  song-singing  and 
yam-spinning  around  the  evening  camp-fire  in  the  still  soli- 
tudes of  the  desert  was  a  happy,  care-free  sort  of  recreation 
that  seemed  the  very  summit  and  culmination  of  earthly 
luxury.  It  is  a  kind  of  life  that  h^  a  potent  charm  for  all 
men,  whether  city  or  country-bred.  We  are  descended  from 
desert-lounging  Arabs,  and  countless  ages  of  growth  toward 
perfect  civilization  have  failed  to  root  out  of  us  the  nomadic 
instinct.  "We  all  confess  to  a  gratified  thrill  at  the  thought  of 
"  camping  out." 

Once  we  made  twenty-five  miles  in  a  day,  and  once  we 
made  forty  miles  (through  the  Great  American  Desert),  and 
ten  miles  beyond— fifty  in  all — in  twenty-three  hours,  without 
halting  to  eat,  drink  or  rest.  To  stretch  out  and  go  to  sleep, 
even  on  stony  and  frozen  ground,  after  pushing  a  .wagon  and 
two  horses  fifty  miles,  is  a  delight  so  supreme  that  for  the 
moment  it  almost  seems  cheap  at  the  price. 

"We  camped  two  days  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  "  Sink 
of  the  Humboldt."  "We  tried  to  use  the  strong  alkaline  water 
of  the  Sink,  but  it  would  not  answer.  It  was  like  drinking 
lye,  and  not  weak  lye,  either.    It  left  a  taste  in  the  mouth, 



bitter  and  every  way  execrable,  and  a  burning  in  the  sfomach 
that  was  very  unoomfortable.  We  put  molasses  in  it,  but  that 
helped  it  very  little ;.  we  added  a  pickle,  yet  the  alkali  was  the 
prominent  taste,  and  so  it  was  unfit  for  drinking.    The  cofl'ee 

■if '  ■^'T.-v'- ,  ^'y^J' 


we  made  of  this  water  was 
the  meanest  compound  man' 
has  yet  invented.  It  was 
really  viler  to  the  taste  than 
the  unameliorated  water  it- 
self Mr.  Ballon,  being  the 
architect  and  builder  of  the 
beverage  felt  constrained  to  endorse  and  uphold  it,  and  so 
drank  half  a  cup,  by  little  sips,  making  shift  to  praise  it  faintly 
the  while,  but  finally  threw  out  the  remainder,  and  said  frankly 
it  was  "  too  technical  for  him." 

But  presently  we  found  a  spring  of  fresh  water,  conve- 
nient, and  then,  with  nothing  to  mar  our  enjoyment,  and  no 
Stragglers  to  interrupt  it,  we  entered  into  our  rest. 


AFTEE  leaving  the  Sink,  we  traveled  along  the  Humboldt 
river  a  little  way.  People  accustomed  to  the  monster 
mile-wide  Mississippi,  grow  accustomed  to  associating  the 
term  "river"  with  a  high  degree  of  watery  grandeur. 
Consequently,  such  people  feel  rather  disappointed  when  they 
stand  on  the  shores  of  the  Humboldt  or  the  Carson  and  find 
that  a  "river"  in  Nevada  is  a  sickly  rivulet  which  is  just 
the  counterpart  of  the  Erie  caaial  in  all  respects  save  that 
the  canal  is  twice  as  long  and  foxir  times  as  deep.  One  of 
the  pleasantest  and  most  invigorating  exercises  one  can  con- 
trive is  to  run  and  jump  across  the  Humboldt  river  till  he  is 
overheated,  and  then  drink  it  dry. 

On  the  fifteenth  day  we  completed  our  march  of  two 
hundred  miles  and  entered  Unionville,  Humboldt  county,  in 
the  midst  of  a  driving  snow-storm.  Unionville  consisted 
of  eleven  cabins  and  a  liberty-pole.  Six  of  the  cabins  were 
strung  along  one  side  of  a  deep  canyon,  and  the  other  five 
faced  them.  The  rest  of  the  landscape  was  made  up  of  bleak 
mountain  walls  that  rose  so  high  into  the  sky  from  both 
sides  of  the  canyon  that  the  village  was  left,  as  it  were,  far 
down  in  the  bottom  of  a  crevice.  It  was  always  daylight  on 
the  mountain  tops  a  long  time  before  the  darkness  lifted  and 
revealed  Unionville. 

We  built  a  small,  rude  cabin  in  the  side  of  the  crevice  and 
roofed  it  with  canvas,  leaving  a  comer  open  to  serve  as  a 
chimney,  through  which  the  cattle  used  to  tumble  occasionally, 


at  night,  and  mash  our  furniture  and  interrupt  our  sleep.  It 
was  very  cold  weather  and  fuel  was  scarce.  Indians  brought 
brush  and  bushes  several  miles  on  their  backs ;  and  when  we 
could  catch  a  laden  Indian  it  was  well — ^and  when  we  could 
not  (which  was  the  rule,  not  the  exception),  we  shivered  and 
bore  it. 

I  confess,  without  shame,  that  I  expected,  to  find  masses 
of  silver  lying  all  about  the  ground.  I  expected  to  see  it 
glittering  in  the  sun  on  the  mountain  summits.  I  said 
nothing  about  this,  for  some  instinct  told  me  that  I 
might  possibly,  have  an  exaggerated  idea  about  it,  and  so 
if  I  betrayed  my  thought  I  might  bring  derision  upon 
myself.  Tet  I  was  as  perfectly  satisfied  in  my  own  mind 
as  I  could  be  of  anything,  that  I  was  going  to  gather  up,  in 
a  day  or  two,  or  at  furthest  a  week  or  two,  silver  enough 
to  make  me  satisfactorily  wealthy — ^and  so  my  fancy  was 
alreatty  busy  with  plans  for  spending  this  money.  The  first 
opportunity  that  offered,  I  sauntered  carelessly  away  from  the 
cabin,  keeping  an  eye  on  the  other  boys,  and  stopping  and 
contemplating  the  sky  when  they  seemed  to  be  observing  me ; 
but  as  soon  as  the  coast  was  manifestly  clear,  I  fied  away  as 
guiltily  as  a  thief  might  have  done  and  never  halted  till  I  was 
ikr  beyond  sight  and  call.  Then  I  began  my  search  with 
a  feverish  excitement  that  was  brimful  of  expectation — almost 
of  certainty.  I  crawled  about  the  ground,  seizing  and  ex- 
amining bits  of  stone,  blowing  the  dust  from  them  or  rubbing 
them  on  my  clothes,  and  then  peering  at  them  with  anxious 
hope.  Presently  1  found  a  bright  fragment  and  my  heart 
bounded !  I  hid  behind  a  boulder  and  polished  it  and  scruti- 
nized it  with  a  nervous  eagerness  and  a  delight  that  was  more 
pronounced  than  absolute  certainty  itself  could  have  afforded. 
The  more  I  examined  the  fragment  the  more  I  was  convinced 
that  I  had  found  the  door  to  fortune.  I  marked  the  spot  and 
carried  away  my  specimen.  Up  and  down  the  rugged  moun- 
tain side  I  searched,  with  always  increasing  interest  and 
always  augmenting  gratitude  that  I  had  come  to  Humboldt 
and  come  in  time.    Of  aU  the  experiences  of  my  life,  this 



secret  search  among  the  hidden' treasures  of  silver-land  was 
the  nearest  to  unmarred  ecstasy.  It  was  a  delirious  revel. 
By  and  by,  in  the  bed  of  a  shallow  rivulet,  I  found  a  de- 
posit of  shining 
yellow  scalefi,and 
my  breath  almost 
forsook  me!  A 
gold  mine,  and 
in  my  simplicity 
I  had  been  con- 
tent with  vulgar 
silver !  I  was  so 
excited  that  I 
half  believed  my 
overwrought  im- 
agination was  de- 
ceiving me.  Then 
a  fear  came  upon 
me  that  people 
might  be  observ- 
ing meand  would 
guess  my  secret. 
Moved  by  this  thought,  I  made  a  circuit  of  the  place,  and 
ascended  a  knoll  to  reconnoiter.  Solitude.  No  creature  was 
near.  Then  I  returned  to  my  mine,  fortifying  myself  against 
possible  disappointment,  but  my  fears  were  groundless — the 
shining  scales  were  still  there.  I  set  about  scooping  them  out, 
and  for  an  hour  I  toiled  down  the  windings  of  the  stream 
and  robbed  its  bed.  But  at  last  the  descending  sun  warned 
me  to  give  up  the  quest,  and  I  turned  homeward  laden  with 
wealth.  As  I  walked  along  I  could  not  help  smiling  at  the 
thought  of  my  being  so  excited  over  my  fragment  of  silver 
when  a  nobler  metal  was  almost  under  my  nose.  In  this  little 
time  the  former  had  so  fallen  in  my  estimation  that  once  or 
twice  I  was  on  the  point  of  throwing  it  away. 

The  boys  were  as  hungry  as  usual,  but  I  could  eat  nothing. 
Neither  could  I  talk.    I  was  full  of  dreams  and  far  away. 


20G       FILTEBING    THE    NEWS    TO    MT    COMPANIONS. 

Tlieir  conversation  interrupted  the  flow  of  my  fancy  some- 
what, and  annoyed  me  a  little,  too.  I  despised  the  sordid  and 
commonplace  things  they  talked  about.  But  as  they  proceeded, 
it  began  to  amuse  me.  It  grew  to  be  rare  fun  to  hear  them 
planning  their  poor  little  economies  and  sighing  over  possible 
privations  and  distresses  when  a  gold  mine,  all  our  own,  lay 
within  sight  of  the  cabin  and  I  could  point  it  out  at  any, 
moment.  Smothered  hilarity  began  to  oppress  me,  presently. 
It  was  hard  to  resist  the  impulse  to  burs't  out  with  exultation 
and  reveal  everything;  but  I  did  resist.  I  said  within  myself 
that  I  would  filter  the  great  news  through  my  lips  calmly  and 
be  serene  as  a  summer  morning  while  I  watched  its  effect  ia 
their  faces.     I  said : 

"  Where  have  you  all  been  ? " 

"  Prospecting." 

"What  did  you  find?" 


"  IS'othing  ?    What  dp  you  think  of  the  country  ? " 

"Can't  tell,  yet,"  said  Mr.  Ballon,  who  was  an  old  gold 
miner,  and  had  likewise  had  considerable  experience  among 
the  silver  mines. 

"  Well,  haven't  you  formed  any  sort  of  opinion  ? " 

"Yes,  a  sort  of  a  one.  It's  faiV  enough  here,  may  be,  but 
overrate4.  Seven  thousand  dollar  ledges  are  scarce,  though. 
That  Sheba  may  be  rich  enough,  but  we  don't  own  it ;  and 
besides,  the  rock  is  so  full  of  base  metals  that  all  the  science 
in  the  world  can't  work  it.  We'll  not  starve,  here,  but  we'll 
not  get  rich,  I'm  afraid." 

"  So  you  think  the  prospect  is  pretty  poor  1 " 

"  No  name  for  it !  " 

"  Well,  we'd  better  go  back,  hadn't  we  ? " 

"  Oh,  not  yet — of  course  not.    We'll  try  it  a  riffle,  flrst." 

"  Suppose,  now — this  is  merely  a  supposition,  you  know — 
suppose  you  could  find  a  ledge  that  would  yield,  say,  a 
hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  ton — would  that  satisfy  you  ? " 

"  Try  us  once ! "  from  the  whole  party. 

"  Or  suppose — ^merely  a  supposition,  of  course — suppose 



you  were  to  find  a  ledge  that  ■would  yield  two  thoiisand 
dollars  a  ton — would  that  satisfy  you  ? " 

"  Here — what  do  you  mean  ?  What  are  you  coming  at  1 
Is  there  some  mystery  behind  all'this  ? " 

"Never  mind.  I  am  not  saying  anything.  You  know 
perfectly  well  there  are  no  rich  mines  here — of  course  you  do. 
Because  you  have  been  around  and  examined  for  yourselyes. 
Anybody  would  know  that,  that  had  been  around.  But 
just  for  the  sake  of  ai'gument,  suppose — in  a  kind  of  general 
way — suppose  some  person  were  to  teU  you  that  two-thousand- 
dollar  ledges  were  simply  contemptible — contemp'tible,  under- 
stand— and  that  right  yonder  in  sight  of  this  very  cabin  there 
were  piles  of  pure  gold  and  pure  silver — oceans  of  it — enough 
to  make  you  all  rich  in  twenty-four  hours !    Come ! " 

"  CAST  TOUB  BTB  ON  THAT  !  " 

"  I  should  say  he  was  as  crazy  as  a  loon ! "  said  old  Ballon, 
but  wild  with  excitement,  nevertheless. 

"Gentlemen,"  said  I,  "I  don't  say  anything — /haven't 


been  around,  yoii  know,  and  of  course  don't  know  anything — 
but  all  I  ask  of  you  is  to  cast  your  eye  on  that,  for  instance, 
and  tell  me  what  you  think  of  it ! "  and  I  tossed  my  treasure 
before  them. 

There  was  an  eager  scramble  for  it,  and  a  closing  of  heads 
together  over  it  under  the  candle-light.  Then  old  Ballou 

"  Think  of  it  ?  I  think  it  is  nothing  but  a  lot  of  granite 
rubbish  and  nasty  glittering  mica  that  isn't  worth  ten  cents 
an  acre ! " 

So  vanished  my  dream.  So  melted  my  wealth  away.  So 
toppled  my  airy  castle  to  the  earth  and  left  me  stricken  and 

Moralizing,  I  observed,  then,  that  "  all  that  glitters  is  not 

Mr.  Ballou  said  I  could  g6  further  than  that,  and  lay  it 
up  among  my  treasures  of  knowledge,  that  nothing  that  glit- 
ters is  gold.  So  I  learned  then,  once  for  all,  that  gold  in  its 
native  state  is  but  dull,  unornamental  stuff,  and  that  only  low- 
born metals  excite  the  admiration  of  the  ignorant  with  an 
ostentatious  glitter.  However,  like  the  rest  of  the  world,  I 
still  go  on  underrating  men  of  gold  and  glorifying  men  of 
mica.     Commonplace  human  nature  cannot  rise  above  that. 


TETJE  knowledge  of  the  natiire  of  silver  mining  came  fast 
enough.  We  went  ont  "  prospecting  "  with  Mr.  Ballon. 
We  climbed  the  mountain  sides,  and  clambered  among  sage- 
brush, rocks  and  snow  till  we  were  ready  to  drop  with  exhaus- 
tion, but  found  no  silver — nor  yet  any  gold.  Day  after  day  we 
did  this.  Now  and  then  we  came  upon  holes  burrowed  a  few 
feet  into  the  declivities  and  apparently  abandoned ;  and  now 
and  then  we  found  one  or  two  listless  men  still  burrowing. 
But  there  was  no  appearance  of  silver.  These  holes  were  the 
beginnings  of  tunnels,  and  the  purpose  was  to  drive  them  hun- 
dreds of  feet  into  the  mountain,  and  some  day  tap  the  hidden 
ledge  where  the  silver  was.  Some  day !  It  seemed  far  enough 
away,  and  very  hopeless  and  dreaiy.  Day  after  day  we  toiled, 
and  climbed  and  searched,  and  we  younger  partners  grew 
sicker  and  still  sicker  of  the  promiseless  toil.  At  last  we 
halted  under  a  beetling  rampart  of  rock  which  projected  from 
the  earth  high  upon  the  mountain.  Mr.  Ballou  broke  off  some 
fragments  with  a  hammer,  and  examined  them  long  and  atten- 
tively with,  a  small  eye-glass ;  threw  them  away  and  broke  off 
more ;  said  this  rock  was  quartz,  and  quartz  was  the  sort  of 
rock  that  contained  silver.  Contavned  it!  I  had  thought 
that  at  least  it  would  be  caked  on  the  outside  of  it  like  a  kind 
of  veneering.  He  still  broke  off  pieces  and  critically  examined 
them,  now  and  then  wetting  the  piece  with  his  tongue  and 
applying  the  glass.  At  last  he  exclaimed : 



"We've  got  it!" 

"We  were  full  of  aiuciety  in  a  moment.  The  rock  was 
dean  and  white,  where  it  was  broken,  and  across  it  ran  a 
ragged  thread  of  blue.     He  said  that  that  little  thread  had 

silver  in  it,mixed 
with  base  metals, 
such  as  lead  and 
antimony,  and 
other  rubbish, 
and  that  there 
was  a  speck  or 
two  of  gold  visi- 
ble. After  a. 
great  deal  of  ef- 
fort we  managed 
to  discern  some 
little  fine  yellow 
specks,  and 
judged  that  a 
couple  of  tons 
of  them  massed 
together  might 
make  a  gold 
dollar,  possibly. 
We  were  not  ju- 
bilant, but  Mr. 
Ballon  said  there 
were  worse  ledg- 
es in  the  world 
than  that.  He  saved  what  he  called  the  "  richest "  piece  of 
the  rock,  in  order  to  determine  its  value  by  the  process  called 
the  "fire-assay."  Then  we  named  the  mjne  "Monarch  of 
the  Mountains"  (modesty  of  nonaenclature  is  not  a  prominent 
feature  in  the  mines),  and  Mr.  Balloii  wrote  out  and  stuck  up 
the  following  "  notice,"  preserving  a  copy  to  be  entered  upon 
the  books  in  the  mining  recorder's  ofiice  in  the.  town. 

'  we've  got  it  ! ' 

A    SILVEE    MINE    AT    LAST.  211 

"  NOTICE." 
"  We  tlie  undersigned  claim  three  claims,  of  three  hundred  feet  each 
[and  one  for  discovery),  on  this  silver-bearing  quartz  lead  or  lode,  extending 
north  and  south  from  this  notice,  with  all  its  dips,  sjiiirs,  and  angles,  varia- 
tions and  sinuosities,  together  with  fifty  feet  of  ground  on  either  side  for 
working  the  same." 

We  put  our  names  to  it  and  tried  to  feel  that  our  fortunes  were 
made.  But  when  we  talked  the  matter  all  over  with  Mr.  Ballou, 
we  felt  depressed  and  dubious.  He  said  that  this  surface  quartz 
was  not  all  there  was  of  our  mine ;  but  that  the  wall  or  ledge  of 
rock  called  the  "  Monarch  of  the  Mountains,"  extended  down 
hundreds  and  hundreds  of  feet  into  the  earth — ^he  illustrated  by 
saying  it  was  like  a  curb-stone,  and  maintained  a  nearly  uniibrm 
thickness — say  twenty  feet — 'aw'ay  down  into  the  bowels  of  the 
earth,  and  was  perfectly  distinct  from  the  casing  rock  on  each 
side  of  it ;  and  that  it  kept  to  itself,  and  maintained  its  distinct- 
ive character  always,  no  matter  how  deep  it  extended  into  the 
earth  or  how  far  it  stretched  itself  tlirough  and  across  the  hills 
and  valleys.  He  said  it  might  be  a  mile  deep  and  ten  miles  long, 
for  all  we  knew ;  and  that  wherever  we  bored  into  it  above 
ground  or  below,  we  would  find  gold  and  silver  in  it,  but  no 
gold  or  silver  in  the  meaner  rocji  it  was  cased  between.  And 
he  said  that  down  in  the  great  depths  of  the  ledge  was  its  rich- 
ness, and  the  deeper  it  went  the  richer  it  grew.  'Therefore, 
instead  of  working  here  on  tlie  surface,  we  must  either  bore 
down  into  the  rock  with  a  shaft  till  we  came  to  where  it  was 
rich — say  a  hundred  feet  or  so — or  else  we  must  go  down  into 
the  valley  and  bore  a  long  tunnel  into  the  ^mountain  side  and 
tap  the  ledge  far  under  the  earth.  To  do  either  was  plainly 
the  labor  of  months ;  for  we  could  blast  and  bore  only  a  few 
feet  a  day — some  five  or  six.  But  this  was  not  all.  He  said 
that  after  we  got  the  ore  out  it  must  be  hauled  in  wagons  to  a 
distant  silver-mill,  ground  up,  and  the  silver  extracted  by  a 
tedious  and  costly  process.  Our  fortune  seemed  a  century 
away ! 

But  we  went  to  work.  We  decided  to  sink  a  shaft.  So, 
for  a  week  wc  climbed  the  mountain,  laden  with  picks,  drills, 


ON    THE    ROAD    TO    FORTUNE. 

gads,  crowbars,  shovels,  cans  of  blasting  powder  and  coils  of 
fuse  and  strove  with  might  and  main.  At  first  the  rock  was 
broken  and  loose  and  we  dug  it  up  with  picks  and  threw  it  out 
with  shovels,  and  the  hole  progressed  very  well.  But  the  rock 
became  more  compact,  presently,  and  gads  and  crowbars  came 
into  play.  But  shortly  nothing  could  make  an  impression  but 
blasting  powder.  That  was  the  weariest  work !  One  of  ns 
held  the  iron  drill  in  its  place  and  another  would  strike  with 
an  eight-pound  sledge — it  was  like  driving  nails  on  a  large 
scale.     In  the  course  of  an  hour  or  two  the  drill  would  reach 




^  .._ %' 



a  depth   of  two  or  three  feet,  making  a  hole  a  couple  of 
inches  in  diameter.     We  would  put  in  a  charge  of  powder,  in- 

WE    FIND    IT    HARD    TO    TRAVEL.  213 

sert  Half  a  yard  of  fuse,  poiir  in  sand  and  gravel  and  ram  it 
down,  then  light  the  fuse  and  run.  When  the  explosion  came 
and  the  rocks  and  smoke  shot  into  the  air,  we  would  go  back 
and  find  about  a  bushel  of  that  hard,  rebellious  quartz  jolted 
out.  Nothing  more.  One  week  of  this  satisfied  me.  I  re- 
signed. Clagget  and  Oliphant  followed.  Our  shaft  was  only 
twelve  feet  deep.  We  decided  that  a  tunnel  was  the  thing 
we  wanted. 

So  we  went  down  the  moimtain  side  and  worked  a  week ; 
at  the  end  of  which  time  we  had  blasted  a  tunnel  about  deep 
enough  to  hide  a  hogshead  in,  and  judged  that  about  nine 
hundred  feet  more  of  it  would  reach  the  ledge.  I  resigned 
again,  and  the  other  boys  only  held  out  one  day  longer.  We 
decided  that  a  tunnel  was  not  what  we  wanted.  We  wanted 
a  ledge  that  was  abeady  "  developed."  There  were  none  in 
the  camp. 

We  dropped  the  "Monarch"  for  the  time  being. 

Meantime  the  camp  was  filling  up  with  people,  and  there 
was  a  constantly  growing  excitement  about  our  Humboldt 
mines.  We  fell  victims  to  the  epidemic  and  strainec^  every 
nerve  to  acquire  more  "  feet."  We  prospected  and  took  up 
new  claims,  put "  notices  "  on  them  and  gave  them  grandiloquent 
names.  We  traded  some  of  our  "  feet "  for  "  feet "  in  other 
people's  claims.  In  a  little  while  we  owned  largely  in  the 
" Gray  Eagle,"  the  "Columbiana,"  the  "Branch  Mint,"  the 
"  Maria  Jane,"  the  "  Universe,"  the  "  Eoot-Hog-or-Die,"  the 
"  Samson  and  Delilah,"  the  "  Treasure  Trove,"  the  "  Golconda," 
the  "Sultana,"  the  "Boomerang,"  the  "Great  Eepublic,"  the 
"  Grand  Mogul,"  and  fifty  other  "  mines  "  that  had  never  been 
molested  by  a  shovel  or  scratched  with  a  pick.  We  had  not  less 
than  thirty  thousand  "feet"  apiece  in  the  "richest  mines  on 
earth  "  as  the  frenzied  cant  phrased  it — and  were  in  debt  to 
the  butcher.  We  were  stark  mad  with  excitement — drimk 
with  happiness — smothered  under  mountains  of  prospective 
wealth — arrogantly  compassionate  toward  the  plodding  millions 
who  knew  not  our  marvellous  canyon — but  our  credit  was  not 
good  at  the  grocer's. 



It  was  tlie  strangest  phase  of  life  one  can  imagine.  It  was 
a  beggars'  revel.  There  was  nothing  doing  in  the  district — 
no  mining — no  milling — no  productive  effort-r-no  income — 
.and  not  qnoiigh  money  in  the  entire  camp  to  buy  a  corner 
lot  in  an  eastern  village,  hardly ;  and  yet  a  stranger  would 
have  supposed  he  was  walking  among  bloated  millionaires. 
Prospecting  parties  swarmed  out  of  town  with  the  first  flush 
of  dawn,  and  swarmed  in  again  at  nightfall  laden  with  spoil — 
rocks.  Nothing  but  rocks.  Every  man's  pockets  were  full  of 
them ;  the  floor  of  his  cabin  was  littered  with  them ;  they 
were  disposed  in  labeled  rows  on  his  shelves. 


I  MET  men  at  every  turn  who  owned  from  one  thousand  to 
thirty  thousand  "feet"  in  undeveloped  silver  mines, 
every  single  foot  of  which  they  believed  would  shortly  be 
worth  from  fifty  to  a  thousand  dollars — and  as  often  as  any 
other  way  they  were  men  who  had  not  twenty-five  dollars  in 
the  world.  Every  man  you  met  had  his  new  mine  to  boast 
of,  and  his  "  specimens  "  ready ;  and  if  the  opportunity  offered, 
he  would  infallibly  back  you  into  a  corner  and  offer  as  a  fevor 
to  yoM,  not  to  him,  to  part  with  just  a  few  feet  in  the  "  Golden 
Age,"  or  the  "-Sarah  Jane,"  or  some  other  unknown  stack  of 
croppings,  for  money  enough  to  get  a  "  square  meal "  with,  as 
the  phrase  went.  And  you  were  never  to  reveal  that  he  had 
made  you  the  offer  at  such  a  ruinous  price,  for  it  was  only  out 
of  friendship  for  you  that  he  was  willing  to  make  the  sacrifice. 
Then  he  would  fish  a  piece  of  rock  out  of  his  pocket,  and 
after  looking  mysteriously  around  as  if  he  feared  he  might  be 
waylaid  and  robbed  if  caught  with  such  wealth  in  his  posses- 
sion, he  would  dab  the  rock  against  his  tongue,  clap  an  eye- 
glass to  it,  and  exclaim  : 

"  Look  at  that !  Eight  there  in  that  red  dirt !  See  it  ? 
See  the  specks  of  gold  ?  And  the  streak  of  silver  ?  That's 
from  the  '  Uncle  Abe.'  There's  a  hundred  thousand  tons  like 
that  in  sight !  Eight  in  sight,  mind  you !  And  when  we  get 
down  on  it  and  the  ledge  comes  in  solid,  it  will  be  the  richest 
thing  in  the  world !  Look  at  the  assay !  I  don't  want  you  to 
believe  me — ^look  at  the  assay ! " 


HOW    "FEET"    WEEE    SOLD. 

Then  he  would  get  out  a  greasy  sheet  of  paper  which 
showed  that  the  portion  of  rock  assayed  had  given  evidence 
of  containing  sUver  and  gold  in  the  proportion  of  so  many 

hundreds      or 

thousands  of  dol- 
lars to  the  ton. 
I  little  knew, 
then,  that  the 
custom  was  to 
hunt  out  the 
richest  piece  of 
rock  and  get  it 
assayed!  Very 
often,  that  piece, 
the  size  of  a  fil- 
bert, was  the  only 
fragment  in  a  ton 
that  had  a  particle 
of  metal  in  it — 
and  yet  the  assay 
made  it  pretend 
to  represent  the 
average  value  of 
the  ton  of  rub- 
bish it  came  from ! 
On  such  a  system  of  assaying  as  that,  the  Humboldt 
world  had  gone  crazy.  On  the  authority  of  such  assays  its 
newspaper  correspondents  were  frothing  about  rock  worth 
four  and  seven  thousand  dollars  a  ton ! 

And  does  the  reader  remember,  a  few  pages  back,  the  cal- 
culations, of  a  quoted  correspondent,  whereby  the  ore  is  to  be 
mined  and  shipped  all  the  way  to  England,  the  metals  ex- 
tracted, and  the  go^d  and  silver  contents  received  back  by  the 
miners  as  clear  profit,  the  copper,  antimony  and  other  things 
in  the  ore  being  suificient  to  pay  all  the  expenses  incurred?^ 
Everybody's  head  was  full  of  such  "calculations"  as  those — 
such  raving  insanity,  rather.    Few  people  took  worh  into  their 

"  DO  YOU  SEE  IT  ?  " 


calculations — or  outlay  of  money  either;  except  the  work 
and  expenditures  of  other  people. 

We  never  touched  our  tunnel  or  our  shaft  again.  Why  ? 
Because  we  judged  that  we  had  learned  the  real  secret  of 
success  in  silver  mining — which  was,  not  to  mine  the  silver 
ourselves  by  the  sweat  of  our  brows  and  the  labor  of  our  hands, 
but  to  sell  the  ledges  to  the  dull  slaves  of  toil  and  let  them  do 
the  mining ! 

Before  leaving  Carson,  the  Secretary  and  I  had  'purchased 
"feet"  from  various  Esmeralda  stragglers.  We  had  expected 
immediate  returns  of  bullion,  but  were  only  afflicted  with 
regular  and  constant  "assessments"  instead — demands  for 
money  wherewith  to  develop  the  said  mines.  These  assess- 
ments had  grown  so  oppressive  that  it  seemed  necessary  to 
look  into  the  matter  personally.  Therefore  I  projected  a'  pil- 
grimage to  Carson  and  thence  to  Esmeralda.  I  bought  a 
horse  and  started,  in  company  with  Mr.  Ballon  and  a  gentle- 
man named  Ollendorff,  a  Prussian — not  the  party  who  has 
inflicted  so  much  suffering  on  the  world  with  his  wretched 
foreign  grammars,  with  their  interminable  repetitions  of  ques- 
tions which  never  have  occurred  and  are  never  likely  to  occur 
in  any  conversation  among  himian  beings.  We  rode  through 
a  snow-storm  for  two  or  three  days,  and  arrived  at  "  Honey 
Lake  Smith's,"  a  sort  of  isolated  inn  on  the  Carson  river.  It 
was  a  two-story  log  house  situated  on  a  small  knoll  in  the 
midst  of  the  vast  basin  or  desert  through  which  the  sickly 
Carson  winds  its  melancholy  way.  Close  to  the  house  were 
the  Overland  stage  stables,  built  of  sun-dried  bricks.  There 
was  not  another  building  within  several  leagues  of  the  place. 
Towards  sunset  about  twenty  hay-wagons  arrived  and  camped 
around  the  house  and  all  the  teamsters  came  in  to  supper — ^a 
very,  very  rough  set.  There  were  one  or  two  Overland  stage 
drivers  there,  also,  and  half  a  dozen  vagabonds  and  stragglers ; 
consequently  the  house  was  well  crowded. 

We  walked  out,  after  supper,  and  visited  a  small  Indian 
camp  in  the  vicinity.  The  Indians  were  in  a  great  hurry 
abopt  something,  and  were  packing  up  and  getting  away  as 



fast  as  they  could.  In  their  brokeq  English  they  said,  "  By'm- 
by,  heap  water ! "  and  by  the  help  of  signs  made  us  under- 
stand that  in  their  opinion  a  flopd  was  coming.  The  Tveather 
was  perfectly  clear,  and  this  was  not  the  rainy  season.  There 
was  about  a  foot  of  water  in  the  insignificant  river — or  maybe 
two  feet ;  the  stream  was  not  wider  than  a  back  alley  in  a 

village,  and  its 
banks  were 
scarcely  higher 
than  a  ,  man's 
head.  So,  where 
was  the  flood 
to  come  from? 
"We  canvassed 
the  subject  a- 
while  and  then 
concluded  it 
was  a  ruse,  and 


that  the  Indians 

had  some  better  reason  for  leaving  in  a  hurry  than  fears  of  a 
flood  in  such  an  exceedingly  dry  time. 

At  seven  in  the  evening  we  went  to  bed  in  the  second 
story — with  our  clothes  on,  as  usual,  and  all  three  in  the  same 
bed,  for  every  available  space  on  the  floors,  chairs,  etc.,  was  in 
request,  and  even  then  there  was  barely  room  for  the  housing 
of  the  inn's  guests.  An  hour  later  we  were  awakened  by  a 
great  turmoil,  and  springing  out  of  bed  we  picked  our  way 
nimbly  among  the  ranks  6f  snoring  teamsters  on  the  floor  and 
got  to  the  front  windows  of  the  long  room.  A  glance  revealed 
a  strange  spectacle,  under  the  moonlight.  The  crooked  Carson 
was  full  to  the  brim,  and  its  waters  were  raging  and  foaming 
in  the  wildest  way — sweeping  around  the  sharp  bends  at  a 
furious  speed,  and  bearing  on  their  surface  a  chaos  of  logs, 
brush  and  all  sorts  of  rubbish.  A  depression,  where  its  bed 
had  once  been,  in  other  times,  was  already  filling,  and  in 
one  or  two  places  the  water  was  beginning  to  wash  over  the 
main  bank.     Men  were  flying  hither  and  thither,  bringing 



cattle  and  wagons  close  up  to  the  house,  for  the  spot  of  high 
ground  on  which  it  stood  extended  only  some  thirty  feet  in 
front  and  about  a  hundred  in  the  rear.  Close  to  the  old  river 
bed  just  spoken  of,  stood  a  little  log  stable,  and  in  this  our 

1  'p  t  * 


I    I    \    \\  i 
I    t 
|i        I        I     I 
I  I  II     t 

I     tl     I  II  } 
1  I    I  III 

bUcroauhiug  sLeaJil}'  ou 
the  logs.  "We  suddenly 
realized  that  this  flood 
was  not  a  mere  holiday  spectacle,  but  nieant  damage — and  not 
only  to  the  small  log  stable  but  to  the  Overland  buildings 
close  to  the  main  river,  for  the  waves  had  now  come  ashore 
and  were  creeping  about  the  foundations  and  invading  the 



great  hay-corral  adjoining.  "We  ran  down  and  joined  the 
.crowd  of  excited  men  and  frightened  animals.  "We  waded 
knee-deep  into  the  log  stable,  unfastened  the  horses  and 
waded  out  almost  waisi-desTp,  so  fast  the  waters  increased. 
Then  the  crowd  rushed  in  a  body  to  thevhay-corral  and  began 
to  tumble  down  the  huge  stacks  of  baled  hay  and  roll  the 
bales  up  on  the  high  ground  by  the  house.  Meantime  it  was 
discovered  that  Owens,  an  overland  driver,  was  missing,  and  a 
man  ran  to 'the  large  stable,  and  wading  in,  boot-top  deep, 
discovered  him  asleep  in  his  bed,  awoke  him,  and  waded  out 
again.  But  Owens  was  drowsy  and  resumed  his  nap ;  but 
only  for  a  minute  or  two,  for  presently  he  turned  in  his  bed, 
his  hand  dropped  over  the  side  and  came  in  contact  with  the 
cold  water !  It  was  up  level  with  the  mattrass  !  He  waded 
'out,  breast-deep,  almost,  and  the  next  moment  the  sun-burned 
bricks  melted  down  like  sugar  and  the  big  building  crumbled' 
to  a  ruin  and  was  washed  away  in  a  twinkling. 

At  eleven  o'clock  only  the  roof  of  the  little  log  stable  was 
out  of  water,  and  our  inn  was  on  an  island  in  mid-ocean.  As 
far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  in  the  moonlight,  there  was  no 
desert  visible,  but  only  a  level  waste  of  shining  water.  The 
Indians  were  true  prophets,  but  how  did  they  get  their  in- 
formation ?    I  am  not  able  to  answer  the  question. 

"We  remained  cooped  up  eight  days  and  nights  with  that 
curious  crew.  Swearing,  drinking  and  card  playing  were  the 
order  of  the  day,  and  occasionally  a  fight  was  thrown  in  for 
variety.  Dirt  and  vermin — ^but  let  us  forget  those  features ; 
their  profusion  is  simply  inconceivable — ^it  is  better  that  they 
remain  so.  .^ 

There  were  two  men — ^however,  this  chapter  is  Icmg  enoygh. 


THERE  were  two  men  in  the  company  who  caused  me  partic- 
ular discomfort.  One  was  a  little  Swede,  about  twenty-five 
years  old,  who  knew  only  one  song,  and  he  was  forever  singing 
it.  By  day  we  were  all  crowded  into  one  small,  stifling  bar- 
room, and  so  there  was  no  escaping  this  person's  music.  Through 
all  the  profanity,  whisky-guzzling,  "  old  sledge "  and  quarrel- 
ing, his  monotonous  song  meandered  with  never  a  variation  in 
its  tiresome  sameness,  and  it  seemed  to  me,  at  last,  that  I 
would  be  content  to  die,  in  order  to  be  rid  of  the  torture.  The 
other  man  was  a  stalwart  ruffian  called  "  Arkansas,"  who  car- 
ried two  revolvers  i|i.Jiis  belt  and  a  bowie  knife  projecting  from 
his  boot,  and  who  was  always  drunk  and  always  suffering  for 
a  fight.  But  he  was  so  feared,  that  nobody  would  aecoriimo- 
date  him.  He  would  try  all  manner  of  little  wary  ruses 
to  entrap  somebody  into  an  ofiensive  remark,  and  his  face 
would  light  up  now  and  then  when  he  fancied  he  was  fairly 
on  the  scent  of  a  fight,  but  invariably  his  victim  would  elude 
his  toils  and  then  he  would  show  a  disappointment  thaJ^  was 
almost  pathetic.  The  landlord,  Johnson,  was  a  meek,  well- 
meaning  fellow,  and  Arkansas  fastened  on  him  early,  as  a 
promising  subject,  and  gave  him  no  rest  day  or  night,  for 
awhile.  On  the  fourth  morning,  Arkansas  got  drunk  and  sat 
himself  down  to  wait  for  an  opportunity.  Presently  Johnson 
came  in,  just  comfortably  sociable  with  whisky,  and  said : 

"  I  reckon  the  Pennsylvania  'lection — " 
'^  Arkansas  raised  his  finger  impressively  and  Johnson  stopped. 
Arkansas  rose  unsteadily  and  confronted  him.    Said  he : 



"  "Wha-what  do  you  know  a-about  Pennsylvania  ?    Answer 
me  that.     Wha-what  do  you  know  'boiit  Pennsylvania?" 
"  I  was  only  goin'  to  say — " 

"  You  was  only  goin'  to  say.  You  was !  You  was  only 
goin'  to  say — what  was  you  goin'  to  say  ?  That's  it !  That's 
what  /  want  to  know.    /  want  to  know  wha-what  you  ('^c) 

what  you  know  about  Pennsyl- 
vania, since  you're  makin'  your- 
self so  d — d  free.  Answer  me 

"  Mr.  Arkansas,  if  you'd  only 
let  me — " 

"Who's  a  henderin'  you? 
Don't  you  insinuate  nothing 
agin  me ! — don't  you  do  it. 
Don't  you  come  in  here  bullyin' 
around,  and  cussin'  and  goin'  on 
like  a  lunatic — don't  you  do  it. 
'Coz  /  won't  stand  it.  If  iight's 
what  you  want,  out  Math  \'i\  Pm 
your  man !     Out  with  it !  " 

Said  Johnson,  backing  into 
a  corner,  Arkanafj^  following, 
menacingly : 

"  Why,  /  never  said  nothing, 
Mr.  Arkansas.  You  don't  give 
a  man  no  chance.  I  was  only 
gain'  to  say  that  PennsylvsMa 
was  goin'  to  have  an  election 
next  weelc — that  was  all^ — thaiS 
was  everything  I  was  goin'  to 
say — I  wish  I  may  never  stir  if  it  wasn't." 

"  Well  then  why  d'n't  you  say  it  ?    What  did  you  come 
swellin'  around  that  way  for,  and  tryin'  to  raise  trouble? " 

"  Why  1  didn't  come  swellin'  around,  Mr.  Arkansas— I 

"  I'm  a  liar  am  I !     Ger-reat  Caesar's  ghos1>— -" 

'MU.    AKKAN3AS." 


"  Oh,  please,  Mr.  Arkansas,  I  never  meant  such  a  thing  as 
that,  I  wish  I  may  die  if  I  did.  All  the  boys  will  tell  you 
that  I've  always  spoke  well  of  you,  and  respected  you  mofe'n 
any  man  in  the  house.  Ask  Smith.  Ain't  it  so,  Smith  ?  Didn't 
I  say,  no  longer  ago  than  last  night,  that  for  a  man  that  was  a 
gentleman  aU  the  time  and  every  way  you  took  him,  give  me 
Arkansas  ?  I'll  leave  it  to  any  gentleman  here  if  them  warn't 
the  very  words  I  used.  Come,  now,  Mr.  Arkansas,  le's  take 
a  drink — ^le's  shake  hands  and  take  a  drink.  Come  up — every- 
body !  It's  my  treat.  Come  up,  -Bill,  Tom,  Bob,  Scotty — 
come  up.  I  want  you  all  to  take  a  drink  with  me  and  Arkan- 
sas— old  Arkansas,  I  call  him — bully  old  Arkansas.  Gimme 
your  hand  agin.  Look  at  him,  boys— just  take  a  loojc  at  him. 
Thar  stands  the  whitest  man  in  America ! — and  the  man  that 
denies  it  has  got  to  fight  me,  that's  all.  Gimme  that  old 
flipper  agin ! " 

They  embraced,  with  drunken  aflFection  on  the  landlord's 
part,  and  unresponsive  toleration  on  the  part  of  Arkansas, 
who,  bribed  by  a  drink,  was  disappointed  of  his  prey  once 
more.  But  the  foolish  landlord  was  so  happy  to  have  escaped 
butchery,  that  he  went' on  talking  when  he  ought  to  have 
marched  himself  out  of  danger.  The  consequence  was  that 
Arkansas  shortly  began  to  glower  upon  him  dangerously, 
and  presently  said : 

"  Larf'lord,  will  you  p-please  make  that  remark  over  agin 
if  you  please  ? " 

"  I  was  a-sayin'  to  Scotty  that  my  father  was  up'ards  of 
ei_ghty  year  old  when  he  died." 
';  «Vas  that  all  that  you  said  ? " 

"  Yes,  th&t  was  all." 

«  Didn't  say  nothing  but  that  ? " 

"  No — nothing." 

Then  an  uncomfortable  silence. 

Arkansas  played  with  his  glass  a  moment,  lolling  on  his 

^bows  on  the  counter.     Then  he  meditatively  scratched  his 

..left  shin  with  his  ri^ht  boot,  while  the  awkward  silence  con- 

•tinued.      But  presently  he  loafed  away  toward  the  stovq, 

224  BOUND    FOE    A    FIGHT. 

looking  dissatisfied;  rougWy  shouldered  two  or  three  men 
out  of  a  comfortable  position;  occupied  it  himself,  gave  a 
sleeping  dog  a  kick  that  sent  him  howling  under  a  bench, 
then  spread  his  long  legs  and  his  blanket-coat  tails  apart 
and  proceeded  to  warm  his  back.  In  a  little  while  he  fell  to 
grumbling  to  himself,  and  soon  he  slouched  back  to  the  bar 
and  said : 

"  Lan'lord,  what's  your  idea  for  rakin'  up  old  personalities 
and  blowin'  about  your  father  ?  Ain't  this  company  agreeable 
to  you  ?  Ain't  it  ?  If  this  company  ain't  agreeable  to  you, 
p'r'aps  we'd  better  leave.  Is  that  your  idea  ?  Is  that  what 
you're  coming  at  ? " 

"  "Why  bless  your  soul,  Arkansas,  I  wam't  thinking  of  such 
a  thing.    My  father  and  my  mother — " 

"  Lan'lord,  donH  crowd  a  man !  Don't  do  it.  K  nothing'll 
do  you  but  a  disturbance,  out  with  it  like  a  man  ('«"c) — but 
don^t  rake  up  old  bygones  and  fling  'em  in  the  teeth  of  a  passel 
of  people  that  wants  to  be  peaceable  if  they  could  git  a  chance. 
What's  the  matter  with  you  this  momin',  anyway  ?  I  never 
see  a  man  carry  on  so."  * 

"  Arkansas,  I  reely  didn't  mean  no  harm,  and  I  won't  go 
on  with  it  if  it's  onpleasant  to  you.  I  reckon  my  licker's  got 
into  my  head,  and  what  with  the  flood,  and  havin'  so  mray 
to  feed  and  look  out  for — " 

"  So  thafs  what's  a-ranklin'  in  your  heart,  is  it  ?    YoiuVant - 
us  to  leave  do  you  ?     There's  too  many  on  us.     You  want  us 
to  pack  up  and  swim.    Is  that  it  ?     Come ! " 

"  Please  be  reasonable,  Arkansas.  !N"ow  you  know  that  I 
ain't  the  man  to — " 

"  Are  you  a  threatenin'  me  ?  Are  you  ?  By  George,  the 
man  don't  live  that  can  skeer  me !  Don't  you  try  to  come 
that  game,  my  chicken — 'cuz  I  can  stand  a  good  deal,  but  I 
won't  stand  that.  Come  out  from  behind  that  bar  till  I  clean 
you !  Yon  want  to  drive  us  out,  do  you,  you  sneakin'  under- 
handed hound !  Come  out  from  behind  that  bar !  I'll  learn 
you  to  bully  and  badger  and  browbeat  a  gentleman  that's 
forever  trying  to  befriend  you  and  keep  you  out  of  troiible  ! " 



"  Please,  Arkansas,  please  don't  shoot !  If  there's  got  to 
be  bloodshed — " 

"  Do  you  hear  that,  gentlemen  ?  Do  you  hear  him  talk 
about  bloodshed?  So  it's  blood  you  want,  is  it,  you  ravin' 
desperado !  You'd  made  up  your  mind  to  murder  somebody 
this  mornin' — I  knowed  it  perfectly  well.  I'm  the  man,  am 
I?  It's  me  you're  goin'  to  murder,  is  it?  But  you  can't  do 
it  'thout  I  get  one  chance  first,  you  thievin'  black-hearted, 
white-lirered  son  of  a  nigger  1    Draw  your  weepon !  " 


"With  that,  Arkansas  began  to  shoot,  and  the  landlord  to 

clamber  over  benches,  men  and  every  sort  of  obstacle  in  a 

frantic  desire  to^capp.  ;  fei  the  midst  of  the  wild  hubbub  the 

^landlord  crashed^oughHtoajass  door,  and  as  Arkansas  charged 

^  after  him  the  landlord's  WOT  suddenly  appeared  in  the  door- 


226  THE    FLOOD    |jftj?8IDE8. 

way  and*  confronted  the  desperado  with  a  pair  of  scissors !  Her 
fury  was  magnificent.  With  head  erect  and  flashing  eye  she 
stood  a  moment  and  then  advanced,  with  her  weapon  raised. 
The  astonished  ruffian  hesitated,  and  then  fell  back  a  step. 
She  followed.  She  backed  him  step  by  step  into  the  middle 
of  the  bar-room,  and  then,  while  the  wondering  crowd  closed 
up  and  gazed,  she  gave  him  such  another  tongue-lashing  as 
never  a  cowed  and  shamefaced  braggart  got  before,  perhaps ! 
As  she  finished  and  retired  victorious,  a  roar  of  applause  shook 
the  house,  and  every  man  ordered  "  drinks  for  the  crowd  "  in 
one  and  the  same  breath. 

The  lesson  was  entirely  sufficient.  The  reign  of  terror  was 
over,  and  the  Arkansas  domination  broken  for  good.  During 
the  rest  of  the  season  of  island  captivity,  there  was  one  man 
who  sat  apart  in  a  state  of  permanent  humiliation,  never  mix- 
ing in  any  quarrel  or  uttering  a  boast,  and  never  resenting  the 
insults  the  once  cringing  crew  now  constantly  leveled  at  him, 
and  that  man  was  "  Arkansas." 

By  the  fifth  or  sixth  morning  the  waters  had  subsided  from 
the  land,  but  the  stream  in  the  old  river  bed  was  still  high  and 
swift  and  there  was  no  possibility  of  crossing  it.  On  the  eighth 
it  was  still  too  high  for  an  entirely  safe  passage,  but  life  in  the 
inn  had  become  next  to  insupportable  by  reason  of  the  dirt, 
drunkenness,  fighting,  etc.,  and  so  we  made  an  effort  to  get 
away.  In  the  midst  of  a  heavy  snow-storm  we  embarked  in  a 
canoe,  taking  our  saddles  aboard  and  towing  our  horses  after  us 
by  their  halters.  The  Prussian,  OUendorftj  was  in  the  bow,  with 
a  paddle,  Ballou  paddled  in  the  middle,  and  I  sat  in  the  stem 
holding  the  halters.  When  the  horses  lost  their  footing  and 
began  to  swim,  Ollendorff  got  frightened,  for  there  was  great 
danger  that  the  horses  would  make  our  aim  uncertain,  and  it 
was  plain  that  if  we  failed  to  land  at  a  certain  spot  the  current 
would  throw  us  off  and  almost  surely  cast  us  into  the  main 
Carson,  which  was  a  boiling  torrent,  now.  Such  a  catastrophe 
would  be  death,  in  all  probability,  for  we  would  be  swept  to 
sea  in  the  "  Sink  "  or  overturned  and  drowned.  We  warned 
Ollendorff  to  keep  his  wits  about  him  and  handle  himself  care- 


ftilly,  but  it  was  useless ;  the  moment  the  bow  touched  the 
bank,  he  made  a  spring  and  the  canoe  whiried  upside  down  in 


ten-foot  water.  011endoi*ff  seized  some  brush  and  dragged 
himself  ashore,  but  Ballou  and  I  had  to  swim  for  it,  encum- 
bered with  our  oTercoats.  But  we  held  on  to  the  canoe,  and 
although  we  were  washed  down  nearly  to  the  Carson,  we  man- 
aged to  push  the  boat  ashore  and  make  a  safe  landing.  "We 
were  cold  and  water-soaked,  but  safe.  The  horses  made  a 
landing,  too,  but  our  saddles  were  gone,  of  course.  We  tied 
the  animals  in  the  sage-brush  and  there  they  had  to  stay  for 
twenty-four  hours.  We  baled  out  the  canoe  and  ferried  over 
some  food  and  blankets  for  them,  but  we  slept  one  more  night 
in  the  inn  before  making  another  venture  on  our  journey. 
The  next  morning  it  was  stiU  snowing  furiously  when  we 

228  A    NEW    8TABT    TOR    CARSON. 


got  away  with  our  new  stock  of  saddles  and  accoutrements. 
We  mounted  and  started.  The  snow  lay  so  deep  on  the 
ground  that  there  was  no  sign  of  a  road  perceptible,  and  the 
snow-fall  was  so  thick  that  we  could  not  see  more  than  a  hun- 
dred yards  ahead,  else  we  could  have  guided  our  Course  by  the 
mountain  ranges.  The  case  looked  dubious,  but  Ollendorff" 
said  his  instinct  was  as  sensitive  as  any  compass,  and  that  he 
could  "  strike  a  bee-line  "  for  Carson  city  and  never  diverge 
from  it.  He  said  that  if  he  were  to  straggle  a  single  point  out 
of  the  true  line  his  instinct  would  assail  him  like  an  outraged 
conscience.  Consequently  we  dropped  into  his  wake  happy 
and  content.  For  half  an  hour  we  poked  along  warily  enough, 
but  at  the  end  of  that  time  we  came  upon  a  fresh  trail,  and 
Ollendorff  shouted  proudly: 

"  I  knew  I  was  as  dead  certain  as  a  compass,  boys !  Here 
we  are,  right  in  somebody's  tracks  that  will  hunt  the  way  for 
us  without  any  trouble.  Let's  hurry  up  and  join  company  with 
the  party." 

So  we  put  the  horses  into  as  much  of  a  trot  as  the  deep 
snow  would  allow,  and  before  long  it  was  evident  that  we 
were  gaining  on  our  predecessors,  for  the  tracks  grew  more 
distinct.  We  hurried  along,  and  at  the  end  of  an  hour  the 
tracks  looked  still  newer  and  fresher — but  what  surprised  us 
was,  that  the  number  of  travelers  in  advance  of  us  seemed  to 
steadily  increase.  We  wondered  how  so  large  a  party  came  to 
be  traveling  at  such  a  time  and  in  such  a  solitude.  Somebody 
suggested  that  it  must  be  a  pompany  of  soldiers  from  the  fort, 
and  so  we  accepted  that  solution  and  jogged  along  a  little  faster 
still,  for  they  could  not  be  far  off  now.  But  the  tracks  still 
multiplied,  and  we  began  to  think  the  platoon  of  soldiers  was 
miraculously  expanding  into  a  regiment — ^Ballou  said  they  had 
already  increased  to  five  hundred !  Presently  he  stopped  his 
horse  and  said : 

"  Boys,  these  are  our  own  tracks,  and  we've  actually  been 
ciraussing  round  and  round  in  a  circle  for  more  than  two 
hours,  out  here  in  this  blind  desert  I  By  George  this  is  per- 
fe«tly  hydraulic ! " 



Then  tlie  old  man  waxed  wroth  and  abusive.  He  called 
Ollendorff  all  manner  of  hard  names — said  he  never  saw 
such  a  Inrid  fool  as  he  was,  and  ended  with  the  peculiarly 
venomous  opinion  that  he  "did  not  know  as  much  as  a 
logarytlim ! " 

We  certainly  had  been  following  our  own  tracks.     Ollen- 

^-    ^^ 

g    *"  ^~ ^ 


dorff  and  his  "  mental  compass "  were  in  disgrace  from  that 
moment  After  all  our  hard  travel,  here  we  were  on  the  bank 
of  the  stream  again,  with  the  inn  beyond  dimly  outlined 
through  the  driving  snow-fall.  While  we  were  considering 
whdt  to  do,  the  young  Swede  landed  from  the  canoe  and  took 
his  pedestrian  way  Carson-wards,  singing  his  same  tiresome 
song  about  his  "  sister  and  his  brother "  and  "  the  child  in 
the  grave  with  its  mother,"  and  in  a  short  minute  faded  and 
disappeared  in  the  white  oblivion.    He  was  never  heard  of 


A    SAFE    LEADER    AT    LAST. 


again.  He  no  doubt  got  bewildered  and  lost,  and  Fatigue 
delivered  him  over  to  Sleep  and  Sleep  betrayed  hjm  to  Death. 
Possibly  he  followed  our  treacherous  tracks  till  he  became  ex- 
hausted and  dropped. 

Presently  the  Overland  stage 
forded  the  now  fast  receding  stream 
and  started  toward  Carson  on  its 
first  trip  since  the  flood  came.  We 
hesitated  no  longer,  now,  but  took 
up  our  march  in  its  wake,  and  trot- 
ted merrily  along,  for  we  had  good 
confidence  in  the  driver's  bump  of 
locality.  But  our  horses  were  no 
match  for  the  fresh  stage  team.  "We 
were  soon  left  out  of  sight ;  but  it 
was  no  matter,  for  we  had  the  deep  ruts  the  wheels  made  for 
a  guide.  By  this  time  it  was  three  in  the  afternoon,  and  con- 
sequently it  was  not  very  long  before  night  came — and  not 
with  a  lingering  twilight,  but  with  a  sudden  shutting  down 
like  a  cellar  door,  as  is  its  habit  in  that  country.  The  snow- 
fall was  still  as  thick  as  ever,  and  of  course  we  could  not  see 
fifteen  steps  before  us ;  but  all  about  us  the  white  glare  of  the 
snow-bed  enabled  us  to  discern  the  smooth  sugar-loaf  mounds 
made  by  the  covered  sage-bushes,  and  just  in  front  of  us  the 
two  faint  grooves  which  we  knew  were  the  steadily  filling 
and  slowly  disappearing  wheel-tracks. 

IlTow  those  sage-bushes  were  all  about  the  same  height — 
three  or  four  feet ;  they  stood  just  about  seven  feet  apart,  all 
over  the  vast  desert ;  each  of  them  was  a  mere  snow-mound, 
now ;  in  arm]  direction  that  you  proceeded  (the  same  as  in  a 
well  laid  out.  orchard)  you  would  find  yourself  moving  down 
a  distinctly  defined  avenue,  with  a  row  of  these  snow-mounds 
an  either  side  of  it — an  avenue  the  customary  width  of  a  road, 
nice  and  level  in  its  breadth,  and  rising  at  the  sides  in  the 
most  natural  way,  by  reason  of  the  mounds.  But  we  had  not 
thqught  of  this.  Then  imagine  the  chilly  thrill  that  shot 
through  us  when  it  finally  occurred  to  us,  far  in  the  night, 



that  since  the  last  faint  trace  of  the  wheel-tracks  had  long  ago 
been  buried  from  sight,  we  might  now  be  wandering  down  a 
mere  sage-brush  avenue,  miles  away  from  the  road  and  diverg- 
ing fiirther  and  further  away  from  it  all  the  time.  Having  a 
cake  of  ice  slipped  down  one's  back  is  placid  comfort  compared 
to  it.  There  was  a  sudden  leap  and  stir  of  blood  that  had 
been  asleep  for  an  hour,  and  as  sudden  a  rousing  of  all  the 
drowsing  activities  in  our  minds  and  bodies.  We  were  alive 
and  awake  at  once — and  shaking  and  quaking  with  consterna- 
tion, too.  There  was  an  instant  halting  and  dismounting,  a 
bending  low  and  an  anxious  scanning  of  the  road-bed.  Use- 
less, of  course ;  for  if  a  faint  depression  could  not  be  discerned 
from  an  altitude  of  four  or  five  feet  above  it,  it  certainly  could 
not  with  one's  nose  nearly  against  it. 


"TTT^E  seemed  to  be  in  a  road,  but  tbat  was  no  proof.  We 
■  ^  '  tested  this  by  walking  off  in  Various  directions — the 
regular  snow-mounds  and  the  regular  avenues  between  them 
convinced  each  man  that  he  had  found  the  true  road,  and  that 
the  others  had  foUnd  only  false  ones.  Plainly  the  situation 
was  desperate.  We  were  cold  and  stiff  and-  the  horses  were 
tited.  We  decided  to  build  a  sage-brusli  fire  and  camp  out  till 
morning.  This  was  wise,  because  if  we  were  wandering  from 
the  right  road  and  the  snow-storm  continued  another  day  our 
ease  would  be  the  next  thing  to  hopeless  if  we  kept  on. 

All,  agreed  that  a  camp  fire  was  what  would  come  nearest 
to  saving  us,  now,  and  so  we  set  about  building  it.  We 
could  find  no  matches,  and  so  we  tried  to  make  shift  with  the 
pistols.  Not  a  man  in  the  party  had  ever  tried  to  do  such  a 
thing  before,  but  not  a  man  in  the  party  doubted  that  it  could 
be  done,  and  without  any  trouble— because  every  man  in  the 
party  had  read  about  it  in  books  many  a  time  and  had  naturally 
come  to  believe  it,  with  trusting  simplicity,  jiist  as  he  had 
long  ago  accepted  and  believed  that  other  common  book-fraud 
about  Indians  and  Idst  hunters  making  a  fire  by  rubbing  two 
dry  Sticks  together. 

We  huddled  together  on  our  knees  in  the  deep  snow, 
and  the  horses  put  their  noses  together  and  bowed  their 
patient  heads  over  us ;  and  while  the  feathery  flakes  eddied 
down  and  turned  us  into  a  group  of  white  statuary,  we  pro- 
ceeded with  the  momentous  experiment.      We  broke  twigs 

LOST    IN    THE    SNOW    WITHOUT    FIRE    OR    HORSES.   233 

from  a  sage  bush  and  piled  them  on  a  little  -  cleared  place 
in  the  shelter  of  our  bodies.  In  the  course  of  ten  or  fifteen 
minutes  all  was  rqady,  and  then,  while  conversation  ceased 
and  our  pulses  beat  low  with  anxious  suspense,  Ollendorff 
applied  his  revolver,  pulled  the  trigger  and  blew  the  pile 
clear  out  of  the  county !  It  was  the  flattest  failure  that  ever 

This  was  distressing,  but  it  paled  before  a  greater  horror — 


the  horses  were  gone!  I  had  been  appointed  to  hold  the 
bridles,  but  in  my  absorbing  anxiety  over  the  pistol  experi- 
ment I  had  unconsciously  dropped  them  and  the  released 
animals  had  walked  off  in  the  storm.  It  was  useless  to  tiy  to 
.  follow  them,  for  their  footfalls  could  make  no  sound,  and  one 
could  pass  within  two  yards  of  the  creatures  and  never  see 
them.  We  gave  them  up  without  an  effort  at  recovering 
them,  and  cursed  the  lying  books  that  said  horses  would  stay 



by  their  masters  for  protection  and  companionship  in  a  distress- 
ful time  like  ours. 

"We  were  miserable  enough,  before ;  we  felt  still  more 
forlorn,  now.  Patiently,  but  with  blighted  hope,  we  broke 
more  sticks  and  piled  them,  and  once  more  the  Prussian  shot 
them  into  annihilation.  Plainly,  to  light  a  fire  with  a  pistol 
was  an  art  requiring  practice  and  experience,  and  the  middle 
of  a  desert  at  midnight  in  a  snow-storm  was  not  a  good 
place  or  time  for  the  acquiring  of  the  accomplishment.  "We 
gave  it  up  and  tried  the  other.  Each  man  took  a  couple  of 
sticks  and  fell  to  chafing  them  together.  At  the  end  of  half 
an  hour  we  were  thoroughly  chilled,  and  so  were  the  sticks. 
"We  bitterly  execrated  the  Indians,  the  hunters  and  the  books 
that  had  betrayed  us  with  the  silly  device,  and  wondered  dis- 
mally what  was  next  to  be  done.  At  this  critical  moment 
Mr.  Ballou  fished  out  four  matches  from  the  rubbish  of  an 
overlooked  pocket.  *  To  have  found  four  gold  bars  would  have 
seemed  poor  and  cheap  good  .luck  compared  to  this.     One 

cannot  think  how 
good  a  match  looks 
under  such  cir- 
cumstances— or 
how  lovable  and 
precious,  and  sa- 
credly beautiful  to 
the  eye.  This  time 
we  gathered  sticks 
with  high  hopes; 
and  when  Mr.  Bal- 
lou prepared  to 
light  the  first 
match,  there  was 
an  amount  of  in- 
terest centred  upon  him  that  pages  of  writing  could  not 
describe.  The  match  burned  hopefully  a  moment,  and  then 
went  out.  It  could  not  have  carried  more  regret  with  it  if  it 
had  been  a  human  life.    The  next  match  simply  flashed  and 



died.  The  wind  puffed  the  third  one  out  just  as  it  was  on 
the  imminent  verge  of  success.  We  gathered  together  closer 
than  ever,  and  developed  a  solicitude  that  was  rapt  and  pain- 
ful, as  Mr.  Ballou  scratched  our  last  hope  on  his  leg.  It  lit, 
burned  blue  and  sickly,  and  then  budded  into  a  robust  flame. 
Shading  it  with  his  hands,  the  old  gentleman  bfent  gradually 
down  and  every  heart  went  with  him — everybody,  too,  for  that 
matter — and  blood  and  breath  stood  still.  The  flame  touched 
the  sticks  at  last,  took  gradual  hold  upon  them — hesitated — 
took  a  stronger  hold — ^hesitated  again — ^held  its  breath  five 
heart-breaking  seconds,  then  gave  a  sort  of  human  gasp  and 
went  out. 

Nobody  said  a  word  for  several  minutes.  It  was  a  solemn 
sort  of  silence ;  even  the  wind  put  on  a  stealthy,  sinister  quiet, 
and  made  no  more  noise  than  the  falling  flakes  of  snow. 
Finally  a  sad-voiced  conversation  began,  and  it  was  soon 
apparent  that  in  each  of  our  hearts  lay  the  conviction  that  this 
was  our  last  night  with  the  living.  I  had  so  hoped  that  I  was 
the  only  one  who  felt  so.  When  the  others  calmly  acknowl- 
edged their  conviction,  it  soimded  like  the  simimons  itself. 
Ollendorff  said: 

"  Brothers,  let  us  die  together.  And  let  us  go  without  one 
hard  feeling  towards  each  other.  Let  us  forget  and  forgive 
bygones.  I  know  that  you  have  felt  hard  towards  me  for  turn- 
ing over  the  canoe,  and  for  knowing  too  much  and  leading  you 
rotlnd  and  round  in  the  snow — but  I  ineant  well ;  forgive  me. 
I  acknowledge  freely  that  I  have  had  hard  feelings  against  Mr. 
Ballou  for  abusing  me  and  calling  me  a  logarythm,  which  is  a 
thing  I  do  not  know  what,  but  no  doubt  a  thing  considered 
disgraceful,  and  unbecoming  in  America,  and  it  has  scarcely- 
been  out  of  my  mind  and  has  hurt  me  a  great  deal — ^but  let 
it  go ;.  I  forgive  Mr.  Ballou  with  aU  my  heart,  and —  " 

Poor  Ollendorff  broke  down  and  the  tears  came.  He  was 
not  alone,  for  I  was  crying  too,  and  so  was  Mr.  Ballou. 
Ollendorff  got  his  voice  again  and  forgave  me  for  things  I  had 
done  and  said.  Then  he  got  out  his  bottle  of  whisky  and  said 
that  whether  he  lived  or  died  he  would  never  touch  another 



drop.  He  said  he  had  given  up  all  hope  of  life,  and  although 
ill-prepared,  was  ready  to  submit  humbly  to  his  fate ;  that  he 
wished  he  could  be  spared  a  little  longer,  not  for  any  selfish 
reason,  but  to  make  a  thorough  reform  in  his  character,  and  by 
devoting  himself  to  helping  the  poor,  nursing  the  sick,  and 
pleading  with  the  people  to  guard  themselves  against  the 
evils  of  intemperance,  make  his  life  a  beneficent  example  to 
the  young,  and  lay  it  down  at  last  v^'ith  the  precious  reflection 
that  itsliad  not  been  lived  in  vain.  He  ended  by  saying  that 
his  reform  should  begin  at  this  moment,  even  here  in  the 
presence  of  death,  since  no  longer  time  was  to  be  vouchsafed 
wherein  to  prosecute  it  to  men's  help  and  benefit — and  with 
that  he  threw  away  the  bottle  of  whisky. 

Mr.  Ballou  made  remarks  of  similar  purport,  and  began 
the  reform  he  could  not  live  to  continue,  by  throwing  away 
the  ancient  pack  of  cards  that  had  solaced  our  captivity  during 
the  flood  and  made  it  bearable.  He  said  he  never  gambled,  but 
still  was  satisfied  that  the  meddling  with  cards  in  any  way  was 

immoral  and  injurious,  and  no 
man  could  be  wholly  pure  and 
blemishless  without  eschew- 
ing them.  "And  therefore," 
continued  he,  "  in  doing  this 
act  I  already  feel  more  in 
sympathy  with  that  spiritual 
saturnalia  necessary  to  entire 
and  obsolete  reform."  These 
rolling  syllables  touched  him 
as  no  intelligible  eloquence 
man  sobbed  with  a  mournful- 


could  have  done,  and  the  old 

ness  not  unmingled  with  satisfaction. 

My  own  remarks  were  of  the  same  tenor  as  those  of 
my  comrades,  and  I  know  that  the  feelings  that  prompted 
tliem  were  heartfelt  and  sincere.  "We  were  all  sincere, 
and  all  deeply  moved  and  earnest,  for  we  were  in  the  pres- 
ence of  death  and  without  hope.  I  threw  away  my  pipe, 
and  in  doinsr  it  felt  that  at  last  I  was  free  of  a  hated  vice 



and  one  that  liad  ridden  me  like  a  tyrant  all  my  days.  While 
I  yet  talked,  the  thought  of  the  good  I  might  have  done  in 
the  -vvorid  and  the  still  greater  good  I  might  now  do,  with 
these  new  incentives  and  higher  and  better  aims  to  guide  me 
if  I  could  only  be  spared  a  few  years  longer,  overcame  me 
and  the  tears  came  again.  We  put  our  ai-ms  about  each 
other's  necks  and  awaited  the  warning  drowsiness  that  pre- 
cedes death  by  freezing. 

It  came  stealing  over  us  presently,  and  then  we  bade  each 
other  a  last  farewell.  A  delicious  dreaminess  wrought  its  web 
about  my  yielding  senses,  while  the  snow-flakes  wove  a  wind- 
ing sheet  about  my  conquered  body.  Oblivion  came.  The 
battle  of  life  was  done. 


I  DO  not  know  how  long  I  was  in  a  state  of  forgetfiilness, 
but  it  seemed  an  age.  A  vague  consciousness  grew  upon 
me  by  degrees,  and  then  came  a  gathering  anguish  of  pain  in 
my  limbs  and  through  aU  my  body.  I  shuddered.  The  thought 
flitted  through  my  brain,  "this  is  deaths — ^this  is  the  hereafter." 

Then  came  a  white  upheaval  at  my  side,  and  a  voice  said, 
with  bitterness : 

"  Will  some  gentleman  be  so  good  as  to  kick  me  behind  ? " 
,  It  was  Ballon — at  least  it  was  a  towzled  snow  image  in  a, 
sitting  posture,  with  BaUou's  voice. 

I  rose  up,  and  there  in  the  gray  dawn,  not  fifteen  steps 
from  us,  were  the  frame  buildings  of  a  stage  station,  and  under 
a  shed  stood  our  still  saddled  and  bridled  horses  ! 

An  arched  snow-drift  broke  up,  now,  and  Ollendorff 
emerged  from  it,  and  the  three  of  us  sat  and  stared  at  the 
houses  without  speaking  a  word.  "We  really  had  nothing  to 
say.  We  were  like  the  profane  man  who  could  not  "  do  the 
subject  justice,"  the  whole  situation  was  so  painfully  ridiculous 
and  humiliating  that  words  were  tame  and  we  did  not  know 
where  to  commence  anyhow. 

The  joy. in  our  hearts  at  our  deliverance  was  poisoned; 
weU-nigh  dissipated,  indeed.  We  presently  began  to  grow 
pettish  by  degrees,  and  sullen ;  and  then,  angry  at  each  other, 
angry  at  ourselves,  angry  at  everything  in  general,  we  moodily 
dusted  the  snow  from  our  clothing  and  in  unsociable  single 
file  plowed  our  way  to  the  horses,  unsaddled  them,  and  sought 
shelter  in  the  station. 

I  have  scarcely  exaggerated  a  detail  of  this  curious  and 

FRUITS    OF    OUK    REFORM.  239 

absurd  adventure.  It  occurred  almost  exactljr  as  I  have  stated 
it.  We  actually  went  into  camp  in  a  snow-drift  in  a  desert,  at 
midnight  in  a  storm,  forlorn  and  hopeless,  within  fifteen  steps 
of  a  comfortable  inn. 

For  two  hours  we  sat  apart  in  the  station  and  ruminated  in 
disgust.  The  mystery  was  gone,  now,  and  it  was  plain  enough 
why  the  horses  had  deserted  us.  Without  a  doubt  they  were 
under  that  shed  a  quarter  of  a  minute  after  they  had  left  us, 
and  they  must  have  overheard  and  enjoyed  all  oui*  confessions 
and  lamentations. 

After  breakfast  we  felt  better,  and  the  zest  of  life  soon 
came  back.  The  world  looked  bright  again,  and  existence 
was  as  dear  to  us  as  ever.  Presently  an  uneasiness  came  over 
me — grew  upon  me — assailed  me  without  ceasing.  Alas,  my 
regeneration  was  not  complete — ^I  wanted  to  smoke!  I  re- 
sisted with  all  my  strength,  but  the  flesh  was  weak.  I  wan- 
dered away  alone  and  wrestled  with  myself  an  hour.  I 
recalled  my  promises  of  reform  and  preached  to  myself 
persuasively,  upbraidingly,  exhaustively.  But  it  was  all  vain, 
I  shortly  found  myself  sneaking  among  the  snow-drifts  hunt- 
ing for  my  pipe.  I  discovered  it  after  a  considerable  search, 
and  crept  away  to  hide  myself  and  enjoy  it.  I  remained 
behind  the  bam  a  good  while,  asking  myself  how  I  would 
feel  if  my  braver,  stronger,  truer  comrades  should  catch  me  in 
my  degradation.  At  last  I  lit  the  pipe,  and  no  human  being 
can  feel  meaner  and  baser  than  I  did  then.  I  was  ashamed 
of  being  in  my  own  pitiful  company.  Still  dreading  discovery, 
I  felt  that  perhaps  the  farther  side  of  the  barn  would  be  some- 
what safer,  and  so  I  turned  the  comer.  As  I  turned  the  one 
comer,  smoking,  Ollendorff  turned  the  other  with  his  bottle 
to  his  lips,  and  between  us  sat  unconscious  Ballou  deep  in 
a  game  of  "solitaire "  with  the  old  greasy  cards ! 

Absurdity  could  go  no  farther.  We  shook  hands  and 
agreed  to  say  no  more  about  "  reform  "  and  "  examples  to  the 
rising  generation." 

The  station  we  were  at  was  at  the  verge  of  the  Twenty-six- 
Mile  Desert.    If  we  had  approached  it  half  an  hour  earlier 



the  night  before,  we  must  have  heard  men  shouting  there  and 
firing  pistols;  for  they  were  expecting  some  sheep  drovers 


and  their  flocks  and  knew  that  they  would  infallibly  get  lost 
and  wander  out  of  reach  of  help  unless  guided  by  sounds. 
"While  we  remained  at  the  station,  three  of  the  drovers  arrived, 
nearly  exhausted  with  their  wanderings,  but  two  others  of 
their  party  were  never  heard  of  afterward. 

"We  reached  Carson  in  due  time,  and  took  a  rest.  Tliis 
rest,  together  with  preparations  for  the  journey  to  Esmeralda, 
kept  us  there  a  week,  and  the  delay  gave  us  the  opportunity 
to  be  present  at  the  trial  of  the  great  land-slide  ease  of  Hyde 
vs.  Morgan — an  episode  which  is  famous  in  Nevada  to  this 
day.  After  a  word  or  two  of  necessary  explanation,  I  will  set 
down  the  history  of  this  singular  affair  just  as  it  transpired. 


THE  mountains  are  very  high  and  steep  aLout  Carson, 
Eagle  and  Washoe  Valleys — very  high  and  very  steep, 
and  so  when  the  snow  gets  to  _melting  off  fast  in  the  Spring 
and  the  warm  surface-earth  begins  to  moisten  and  soften,  the 
disastrous  land-slides  commence.  The  reader  cannot  know 
what  a  land-slide  is,  unless  he  has  lived  in.  that  country  and 
seen  the  whole  side  of  a  mountain  taken  off  some  tine  morning 
and  deposited  down  in  the  valley,  leaving  a  vast,  treelesg, 
unsightly  scar  upon  the  mountain's  front  to  keep  the  circum- 
stance fresh  in  his  memory  all  the  years  that  he  may  go  on 
living  within  seventy  miles  of  that  place. 

General  Euncombe  was  shipped  out  to  Nevada  in  the 
invoice  of  Territorial  officers,  to  be  United  States  Attorney. 
He  considered  himself  a  lawyer  of  parts,  and  he  very  much 
wanted  an  opportunity  to  manifest  it — partly  for  the  pure< 
gratification  of  it  and  partly  because  his  salary  was  Territo- 
rially meagre  (which  is  a  strong  expression).  Now  the  older 
citizens  of  a  new  territory  look  down  upon  the  rest  of  the 
world  with  a  calm,  benevolent  compassion,  as  long  as  it  keeps 
out  of  th6  way — when  it  gets  in  the  way  they  snub  it.  Some- 
times this  latter  takes  the  shape  of  a  practical  joke. 

Oue  morning  Dick  Hyde  rode  furiously  up  to  General 
Buncombe's  door  in  Carson  city  and  rushed  into  his  presence 
without  stopping  to  tie  his  horse.  He  seemed  much  excited. 
He  told  the  General  that  he  wanted  him  to  conduct  a  suit  for 
him  and  would  pay  him  five  hundred  dollars  if  he  achieved  a 
victory.  And  then,  with  violent  gestures  and  a  world  of 
profanity,  he  poured  out  his  griefs.  He  said  it  was  pretty 



well  Imown  that  for  some  years  he  had  been  farming  (or 
ranching  as  the  more  customary  term  is)  in  Washoe  District, 
and  making  a  successful  thing  of  it,  and  furthermore  it  was 
known  that  his  ranch  was  situated  just  in  the  edge  of  the 
valley,  and  that  Tom  Morgan  owned  a  ranch  immediately 
above  it  on  the  mountain  side.  And  now  the  trouble  was,  that 
one  of  those  hated  and  dreaded  land-slides  had  come  and  slid 

Morgan's  ranch, 
fences,  cabins,  cattle, 
bams  and  everything 
down  on  top  of  his 
ranch  and  exactly 
covered  up  every 
single  vestige  of  his 
property,  to  a  depth 
of  about  thirty-eight 
feet.  Morgan  was 
in  possession  and  re- 
fused to  vacate  the 
premises — said  he 
was  occupying 
own  cabin  and  not 
interfering  with  any- 
body else's — and  said 
the  cabin  was  stand- 
ing on  the  same  dirt 
and  same  ranch  it  had  always  stood  on, 
and  he  would  like  to  see  anybody  make 
him  vacate. 

I  TAKING  POSSESSION.  "  And  wheu  I  reminded  him,"  said 

Hyde,  weeping,  "  that  it  was  on  top  of  my  ranch  and  that  he 
was  trespassing,  he  had  the  infernal  meanness  to  ask  me  why 
didn't  I  stay  on  my  ranch  and  hold  possession  when  I  see  him 
a-coming !  Why  didn't  I  stay  on  it,  the  blathering  lunatic — 
by  George,  when  I  heard  that  racket  and  looked  up  that  hill  it 
was  just  like  the  whole  world  was  ariipping  and  a-tearing 
down  that  mountain  side — splinters,  and  cord-wood,  thunder 
ind  lightning,  hail  and  snow,  odds  and  ends  of  hay  stackB^ 


^nd  awful  clouds  of  dust ! — trees  going  end  over  end  in  the 
air,  rocks  as  big  as  a  house  jumping  'boiit  a  thousand  feet 
high  and  busting  into  ten  million  pieces,  cattle  turned  inside 
out  and  a-eoming  head  on  with  their  tails  hanging  out  be- 
tween their  teeth! — and  in  the  midst  of  all  that  wrack  and 
destruction  sot  that  cussed  Morgan  on  his  gate-post,  a- wonder- 
ing why.  I  didn't  stay  and  hold  possession  !  Laws  bless  me, 
I  just  took  one  glimpse,  General,  and  lit  out'n  the  county  in 
three  jumps  exactly. 

"  But  what  grinds  me  is  that  that  Morgan  hangs  on  there 
and  won't  move  off 'n  that  ranch — says  it's  his'n  and  he's  going 
to  keep  it— likes  it  better'n  he  did  when  it  was  higher  up  the 
hill.  Mad !  Well,  I've  been  so  mad  for  two  days  I  couldn't 
find  my  way  to  town — ^been  wandering  around  in  the  brush 
in  a  starving  condition — got  anything  here  to  drink.  General  % 
But  I'm  here  now,  and  I'm  a-going  to  law.     You  hear  me  !  " 

Ifever  in  all  the  world,  perhaps,  were  a  man's  feelings  so 
outraged  as  were  the  General's.  He  said  he  had  never  heard 
of  such  high-handed  conduct  in  all  his  life  as  this  Morgan's. 
And  he  said  there  was  no  use  in  going  to  law — Morgan  had 
no  shadow  of  right  to  remain  where  he  was— nobody  in  the 
wide  world  would  uphold  him  in  it,  and  no  lawyer  would  take 
his  case  and  no  judge  listen  to  it.  Hyde  said  that  right  tliere 
was  where  he  was  mistaken — everybody  in  town  sustained 
Morgan ;  Hal  Brayton,  a  very  smart  lawyer,  had  taken  his 
case  ;  the  courts  being  in  vacation,  it  was  to  be  tried  before  a 
referee,  and  ex-Governor  Roop  had  already  been  appointed  to 
that  ofiice  and  would  open  his  court  in  a  large  public  hall  near 
the  hotel  at  two  that  afternoon. 

The  General  was  amazed.  He  said  he  had  suspected  be- 
fore that  the  people  of  that  Territory  were  fools,  and  now  he 
knew  it.  But  he  said  rest  easy,  rest  easy  and  collect  the  wit- 
nesses, for  the  victory  was  just  as  certain  as  if  the  conflict 
were  already  over.     Hyde  wiped  away  his  tears  and  left. 

At  two  in  the  afternoon  referee  Roop's  Court  opened,  and 
Roop  appeared  throned  among  his  sheriffs,  the  witnesse% 
and  spectators,  and  wearing  upon  his  face  a  solemnity  so 
awe-inspiring  that  some  of  his  fellow-conspirators  had  misgiv- 



ings  that  maybe  he  had  not  comprehended,  after  all,  that  this 
was  merely  a  joke.  An  unearthly  stillness  prevailed,  for  at 
the  slightest  noise  the  judge  uttered  sternly  the  commands 

"  Order  in  the  Court ! " 

And  the  sheriffs  promptly  echoed  it.  Presently  the 
General  elbowed  his  way  through  the  crowd  of  spectators, 
with  his  arms  full  of  law-books,  and  on  his  ears  fell  an  order 
from  the  judge  which  was  the  first  respectful  recognition  of 
his  high  official  dignity  that  had  ever  saluted  them,  and  it 
trickled  pleasantly  through  his  whole  system : 

"Way  for  the  United  States  Attorney ! " 

The  witnesses  were  called — ^legislators,  high  government 


officers,  ranchmen,  miners,  Indians,  Chinamen,  negroes.  Three 
fourths  of  them  were  called  by  the  defendant  Morgan,  but  no 
matter,  their  testimony  invariably  went  in  favor  of  the  plain-' 


tiff  Hyde.  Each  new  witness  only  added  new  testimony  to 
the  absurdity  of  a  man's  claiming  to  own  another  man's  prop- 
erty because  his  farm  had  slid  down  on  top  of  it.  Then  the 
Morgan  lawyers  made  their  speeches,  and  seemed  to  make  sin- 
gularly weak  ones — they  did  really  nothing  to  help  the  Morgan 
cause.  And  now  the  General,  with  exultation  in  his  face,  got 
up  and  made  an  impassioned  effort ;  he  ponnded  the  table,  he 
banged  the  law-books,  he  shouted,  and  roared,  and  howled,  he 
quoted  from  everything  and  everybody,  poetry,  sarcasm,  sta- 
tistics, history,  pathos,  bathos,  blasphemy,  and  wound  up  with 
a  grand  wai'-whoop  for  free  speech,  freedom  of  the  press,  free 
schools,  the  Glorions  Bird  of  America  and  the  principles  of 
eternal  justice !     [Applause.] 

When  the  General  sat  down,  he  did  it  with  the  convic- 
tion that  if  there  was  anything  in  good  strong  testimony,  a 
great  speech  and  believing  and  admiring  countenances  all 
aroxmd,  Mr.  Morgan's  case  was  killed.  Ex-Governor  Roop 
leant  his  head  upon  his  hand  for  some  minutes,  thinking,  and 
the  still  audience  waited  for  his  decision.  Then  he  got  up 
and  stood  erect,  with  bended  head,  and  thought  again.  Then 
he  walked  the  floor  with  long,  deliberate  strides,  his  chin  in 
his  hand,  and  still  the  audience  waited.  At  last  he  returned 
to  his  throne,  seated  himself,  and  began,  impressively : 

"  Gentlemen,  I  feel  the  great  responsibility  that  rests  upon 
me  this  day.  This  is  no  ordinary  case.  On  the  contrary  it  is 
plain  that  it  is  the  most  solemn  and  awful  that  ever  man  was 
called  upon  to  decide.  Gentlemen,  I  have  listened  attentively 
to  the  evidence,  and  have  perceived  that  the  weight  of  it,  the 
overwhelming  weight  of  it,  is  in  favor  of  the  plaintiff  Hyde. 
I  have  listened  also  to  the  remarks  of  counsel,  with  high 
interest — and  especially  will  I  commend  the  masterly  and 
irrefutable  logic  of  the  distinguished  gentleman  who  repre- 
sents the  plaintiff.  But  gentlemen,  let  us  beware  how  we 
allow  mere  human  testimony,  human  ingenuity  in  argument 
and  human  ideas  of  equity,  to  influence  us  at  a  moment  so 
solemn  as  this.  Gentlemen,  it  ill  becomes  us,  worms  as  we  are, 
to  meddle  with  the  decrees  of  Heaven.    It  is  plain  to  me  that 



Heaven,  in  its  inscrutable  wisdom,  has  seen  fit  to  move  this 
defendant's  ranch  for  a  purpose.  We  are  but  creatures,  and 
vre  must  submit.  If  Heaven  has  chosen  to  favor  the  defendant 
Morgan  in  this  marked  and  wonderful  manner;  and  if  Heaven, 
dissatisfied  with  the  position  of  the  Morgan  ranch  upon  the 
mountain  side,  has  chosen  to  remove  it  to  a  position  more 
eli^ble  and  more  advantageous  for  its  owner,  it  ill  becomes 
us,  insects  as  we  are,  to  question  the  legality  of  the  act  or 
inquire  into  the  reasons  that  prompted  it.  No — Heaven  created 
the  ranches  and  it  is  Heaven's  prerogative  tp  rearrange  them, 
to  experiment  with  them,  to  shift  them  around  at  its  pleasure. 

*   *i» 


It  Is  for  US  to  submit,  without  repining.  I  warn  you  that  this 
thing  which  has  happened  is  a  thing  with  which  the  sacri- 
legious hands  and  brains  and  tongues  of  men  must  not  meddle. 
Grentlemen,  it  is  the  verdict  of  this  court  that  the  plaintiff, 


Richard  Hyde,  has  been  deprived  of  his  ranch  by  the  visita- 
tion of  God !     And  from  this  decision  there  is  no  appeal." 

Buncombe  seized  his  cargo  of  law-books  and  plunged  out 
of  the  court-room  frantic  with  indignation.  He  pronounced 
Hoop  to  be  a  miraculous  fool,  an  inspired  idiot.  In  all  good 
faith  he  returned  at  night  and  remonstrated  with  Eoop  upon 
his  extravagant  decision,  and  implored  him  to  walk  the  floor 
and  think  for  half  an  hour,  and  see  if  he  could  not  figure  out 
some  sort  of  modification  of  the  verdict.  Eoop  yielded  at  ladt 
and  got  up  to  walk.  He  walked  two  hours  and  a  half,  and  at 
last  his  face  lit  up  happily  and  he  told  Buncombe  it  had  oc- 
curred to  him  that  the  ranch  underneath  the  new  Morgan  ranch 
still  belonged  to  Hyde,  that  his  title  to  the  ground  was  just 
as  good  as  it  had  ever  been,  and  therefore  he  was  of  opinion 
that  Hyde  had  a  right  to  dig  it  out  from  under  there  and — 

The  General  never  waited  to  hear  the  end  of  it.  He  was 
always  an  impatient  and  irascible  man,  that  way.  At  the  end 
of  two  months  the  fact  that  he  had  been  played  upon  vrith  a 
joke  had  managed  to  bore  itself,  like  another  Hoosac  Tunnel, 
through  the  solid  adamant  of  his  understanding. 


"YTTHEN  we  finally  left  for  Esmeralda,  horseback,  we  had 
'  V  an  addition  to  the  company  in  the  person  of  Capt. 
John  Nye,  the  Governor's  brother.  He  had  a  good  memory, 
and  a  tongue  hung  in  the  middle.  This  is  a  combination 
which  gives  immortality  to  conversation.  Capt.  John  never 
suffered  the  talk  to  flag  or  falter  once  during  the  hundred  and 
twenty  miles  of  the  journey.  In  addition  to  his  conversa- 
tional powers,  he  had  one  or  two  other  endovonents  of  a 
marked  character.  One  was  a  singular  "handiness"  about 
doing  anything  and  everjiihing,  from  laying  out  a  railroad  or 
organizing  a  political  party,  down  to  sewing  on  buttons,  shoe- 
ing a  horse,  or  setting  a  broken  leg,  or  a  hen.  Another  was  a 
spirit  of  accommodation  that  prompted  him  to  take  the  needs, 
difficulties  and  perplexities  of  anybody  and  everybody  upon 
his  own  shoulders  at  any  and  all  times,  and  dispose  of  them 
with  admirable  facility  and  alacrity — Whence  he  always  managed 
to  find  vacant  beds  in  crowded  inns,  and  plenty  to  eat  in  the 
emptiest  larders.  And  finally,  wherever  he  met  a  man, 
woman  or  child,  in  camp,  inn  or  desert,  he  either  knew  such 
parties  personally  or  had  been  acquainted  with  a  relative  of 
the  same.  Such  another  traveling  comrade  was  never  seen 
before.  I  cannot  forbear  giving  a  specimen  of  the  way  in 
whiqh  he  overcame  difficulties.  On  the  second  day  out,  we 
arrived,  very  tired  and  hungry,  at  a  poor  little  inn  in  the 
desert,  and  were  told  that- the  house  was  full,  no  provisions  on 
hand,  and  neither  hay  nor  barley  to  spare  for  the  horses — ^we 
must  move  on.     The  rest  of  us  wanted  to  hurry  on  while  it 

A    MAN    WITH    BAD    TRAITS. 


was  yet  light,  but  Capt.  John  insisted  on  stopping  awhile. 
We  dismounted  and  entered.  There  was  no  welcome  for  us 
on  any  face.  Capt.  John  began  his  blandishments,  and  within 
twenty  minutes  he  had  accomplished  the  following  things, 
viz. :  found  old  acquaintances  in  three  teamsters ;  discovered 
that  he  used  to  go  to  school  with'  the  landlord's  mother; 
recognized  his  wife  as  a  lady  whose  Hfe  he  had  saved  once  in 
California,  by  stopping  her  runaway  horse ;  mended  a  child's 
broken  toy  and  won  the  favor  of  its  mother,  a  guest  of  the 
inn;  helped  the  hostler  bleed  a  horse,  and  prescribed  for 
another  horse  that  had  the  "  heaves  " ;  treated  the  entire  party 
three  times  at  the  landlord's  bar ;  produced  a  later  paper  than 
anybody  had  seen  for  a  week  and  sat  himself  down  to  read  the 
news  to  a  deeply  interested  audience.  The  result,  summed 
up,  was  as  follows :  The  hostler  found  plenty  of  feed  for  our 
horses ;  we  had  a  trout  supper,  an  exceedingly  sociable  time  after 
it,  good  beds  to  sleep  in,  and  a  surprising  breakfast  in  the 
morning — and  when  we  left,  we  left  lamented  by  all !     Capt. 


John  had  some  bad  traits,  but  he  had  some  uncommonly  valu- 
able ones  to  offset  them  with. 

Esmeralda  was  in  many  respects  another  Humboldt,  but 
in  a  little  more  forward  state.  The  claims  we  had  been 
paying  assessments  on  were  entirely  worthless,  and  we  threw 
them  away.  The  principal  one  cropped  out  of  the  top  of  a 
knoll  that  was  fourteen  feet  high,  and  the  inspired  Board  of 



Directors  were  running  a  tunnel  under  that  knoll  to  strike  tbo 
ledge.  The  tunnel  would  have  to  be  seventy  feet  long,  and 
would  then  strike  the  ledge  at  the  same  depth  that  a  shaft 
twelve  feet  deep  would  have  reached  I  The  Board  were  living 
on  the  "  assessments."  [If.  B. — This  hint  comes  too  late  for  the 
enlightenment  of  New  York  silver  miners ;  they  have  already 
learned  all  about  this  neat  trick  by  experience.]  The  Board 
had  no  desire  to  strike  the  ledge,  knowing  that  it  was  as  barren 
of  silver  as  a  curbstone.  This  reminiscence  calls  to  mind  Jim 
Townsend's  tunnel.  He  had  paid  assessments  on  a  mine 
called  the  "  Daley  "  till  he  was  well-nigh  penniless.  Finally 
an  assessment  was  levied  to  run  a  tunnel  two  hundred  and  fifty 
feet  on  the  Daley,  and  Townsend  went  up  on  the  hill  to  look 
into  na^tters.    He  found  the  Daley  cropping  out  of  the  apea: 


of  an  exceedingly  sharp-pointed  peak,  and  a  couple  of  men  up 
there  "  facing  "  the  proposed  tunnel.  Townsend  made  a  cal- 
culation.    Then  he  said  to  the  men : 

"  So  you  have  taken  a  contract  to  run  a  tunnel  into  this 
hill  two  hundred  and  fifty  feet  to  strike  this  ledge  ? " 

"Yes,  sir." 


"  Well,  do  you  know  that  you  have  got  one  of  the  most 
expensive  and  arduous  undertakings  before  you  that  was  ever 
conceived  by  man  ? " 

"  Why  no— how  is  that  ? " 

"  Because  this  hill  is  only  twenty-five  feet  through  from 
Bide  to  side;  and  so  you  have  got  to  build  two  hundred  and 
twenty-five  feet  of  your  tunnel  on  trestle-work !  " 

The  ways  of  silver  mining  Boards  are  exceedingly  dark 
and  sinuous. 

We  took  up  various  claims,  and  commenced  shafts  and 
tunnels  on  them,  but  never  finished  any  of  them.  We  had  to 
do  a  certain  amount  of  work  on  each  to  "hold"  it,  else  other 
parties  could  seize  our  property  after  the  expiration  of  ten 
days.  We  were  always  hunting  up  new  claims  and  doing  a 
little  work  on  them  and  then  waiting  for  a  buyer — who  never 
came.  We  never  found  any  ore  that  would  yield  more  than 
fifty  dollars  a  ton ;  and  as  the  mills  charged  fifty  dollars  a 
ton  for  working  ore  and  extracting  the  silver,  our  pocket- 
money  melted  steadily  away  and  none  returned  to  take  its 
place.  We  lived  in  a  little  cabin  and  cooked  for  ourselves ; 
and  altogether  it  was  a  hard  life,  though  a  hopeful  one — for 
we  ncAi^er  ceased  to  expect  fortune  and  a  customer  to  burst 
upon  us  some  day. 

At  last,  when  fiour  reached  a  dollar  a  pound,  and  money 
could  not  be  borrowed  on  the  best  security  at  less  than  eight 
per  cent  a  month  (I  being  without  the  security,  too),  I  aban- 
doned mining  and  went  to  milling.  That  is  to  say,  I  went  to 
work  as  a  common  laborer  in  a  quartz  mill,  at  ten  dollars  a 
week  and  board. 


I  HAD  already  learned  how  hard  and  long  and  dismal  a  task 
it  is  to  burrow  down  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth  and  get 
out  the  coveted  ore ;  and  now  I  learned  that  the  burrowing 
was  only  half  the  work ;  and  that  to  get  the  silver  out  of  the 
ore  was  the  dreary  and  laborious  other  half  of  it.  We  had  to 
turn  out  at  six  in  the  morning  and  keep  at  it  tiU  dark.  This 
mill  was  a  six-stamp  affair,  driven  by  steam.  Six  tall,  upright 
rods  of  iron,  as  large  as  a  man's  ankle,  and  heavily  shod  with 
a  mass  of  iron  and  steel  at  their  lower  ends,  were  framed 
together  like  a  gate,  and  these  rose  and  fell,  one  after  the 
other,  in  a  ponderous  dance,  in  an  iron  box  called  a  "  battery." 
Each  of  these  rods  or  stamps  weighed  six  hundred  pounds. 
One  of  us  stood  by  the  battery  all  day  long,  breaking  up 
masses  of  silver-bearing  rock  with  a  sledge  and  shoveling  it 
into  the  battery.  The  ceaseless  dance  of  the  stamps  pulver- 
ized the  rock  to  powder,  and  a  stream  of  water  that  trickled 
into  the  battery  turned  it  to  a  creamy  paste.  The  minutest 
particles  were  driven  tlu'ough  a  fine  wire  screen  which  fitted 
close  around  the  battery,  and  were  washed  into  great  tubs 
warmed  by  super-heated  steam — amalgamating  pans,  they  are 
called.  The  mass  of  pulp  in  the  pans  was  kept  constantly 
stiiTed  up  by  revolving  "  muUers."  A  quantity  of  quicksilver 
was  kept  always  in  the  battery,  and  this  seized  some  of  the 
liberated  gold  and  silver  particles  and  held  on  to  them ;  quick- 
silver was  shaken  in  a  fine  shower  into  the  pans,  also,  about 
every  half  hour,  through  a  buckskin  sack.      Quantities  of 

AT    WORK    IN    A    QUARTZ    MILL. 


coarse  salt  and  sulphate  of  copper  were  added,  from  time  to 
time  to  assist  the  amalgamation  by  destroying  base  metals 
which  coated  the  gold  and  silver  and  would  not  let  it  unite 
with  the  quicksilver.     All  these  tiresome  things  we  had  to 


N      1.    • 


— ' — ; — ""^ 



attend  to  constantly.  Streams  of  dirty  water  flowed  always 
from  the  pans  and  were  carried  oif  in  broad  wooden  troughs 
to  the  ravine.  One  would  not  suppose  that  atoms  of  gold  and 
silver  would  float  on  top  of  six  inches  of  water,  biit  they  did ; 
and  in  order  to  catch  them,  coarse  blankets  were  laid  in  the 
troughs,  and  little  obstructing  "riffles"  charged  with  quick- 
silver were  placed  here  and  there  across  the  troughs  also. 
These  riffles  had  to  be  cleaned  and  the  blankets  washed  out 
every  evening,  to  get  their  precious  accumulations — and  after 
all  this  eternity  of  trouble  one  third  of  the  silver  and  gold  in 
a  ton  of  rock  would  flnd  its  way  to  the  end  of  the  troughs  in 
the  ravine  at  last  and  have  to  be  worked  over  again  some  day. 
There  is  nothing  so  aggravating  as  silver  milling.  There 
never  was  any  idle  time  in  that  mill.  There  was  always 
something  to  do.    It  is  a  pity  that  Adam  could  not  have  gone 


straight  out  of  Eden  into  a  quartz  mill,  in  order  to  understand 
the  full  force  of  Ms  doom  to  "  earn  his  bread  by  the  sweat  of 
his  brow."  Every  now  and  then,  during  the  day,  we  had  to 
scoop  some  pulp  out  of  the  pans,  and  tediously  "wash"  it  in  a 
horn  spoon — wash  it  little  by  little  over  the  edge  till  at  last 
nothing  was  left  but  some  little  dull  globules  of  quicksilver  in 
the  bottom.  If  they  were  soft  and  yielding,  the  pan  needed 
some  salt  or  some  sulphate  of  copper  or  some  Other  chemical 
rubbish  to  assist  digestion ;  if  they  were  crisp  to  the  touch  and 
would  retain  a  dint,  they  were  freighted  with  all  the  silvei'and 
gold  they  could  seize  and  hold,  and  consequently  the  pans 
needed  a  fresh  charge  of  quicksilver.  When  there  was  noth- 
ing else  to  do,  one  could  always  "  screen  tailings."  That  is  to 
say,  he  could  shovel  up  the  dried  sand  that  had  washed  down 
to  the  ravine  through  the  troughs  and  dash  it  against  an  up- 
right wire  screen  to  free  it  from  pebbles  and  prepare  it  for 


working  over.  The  process  of  amalgamation  differed  in  the 
various  mills,  and  this  included  changes  in  style  of  pans  and 
other  machinery,  and  a  great  diversity  of  opinion  existed  as  to 
the  best  in  use,  but  none  of  the  methods  employed,  involved 


the  principle  of  milling  ore  without  "  screening  the  tailings." 
Of  all  recreations  in  the  world,  screening  tailings  on  a  hot 
day,  with  a  long-handled  shovel,  is  the  most  undesirable. 

At  the  end  of  the  week  the  machinery  was  stopped  and 
we  "  cleaned  up."  That  is  to  say,  we  got  the  pulp  out  of  the 
pans  and  batteries,  and  washed  the  mud  patiently  away  till 
nothing  was  left  but  the  long  accumulating  mass  of  quicksilver, 
with  its  imprisoned  treasures.  This  we  made  into  heavy, 
compact  snow-balls,  and  piled  them  up  in  a  bright,  luxurious 
heap  for  inspection.  Making  these  snow-balls  cost  me  a  fine 
gold  ring — that  and  ignorance  together;  for  the  quicksilver 
invaded  tile  ring  with  the  same  facility  with  which  water  sat- 
urates a  sponge — separated  its  particles  and  the  ring  crumbled 
to  pieces. 

We  put  oar  pile  of  quicksilver  balls  into  an  iron  retort 
that  had  a  pipe  leading  from  it  to  a  pail  of  water,  and  then 
applied  a  roasting  heat.  The  quicksilver  turned .  to  vapor, 
escaped  through  the  pipe  into  the  pail,  and  the  water  turned 
it  into  good  wholesome  quicksilver  again.  Quicksilver  is  very 
costly,  and  they  never  waste  it.  On  opening  the  retort,  there 
was  our  week's  work — a  lump  of  pure  white,  frosty  looking 
silver,  twice  as  large  as  a  man's  head.  Perhaps  a  fifth  of  the 
mass  was  gold,  but  the  color  of  it  did  not  show — would  not 
have  shown  if  two  thirds  of  it  had  been  gold.  We  melted  it 
up  and  made  a  solid  brick  of  it  by  pouring  it  into  an  iron 

By  such  a  tedious  and  laborious  process  were  silver  bricks 
obtained.  This  mill  was  but  one  of  many  others  in  operation 
at  the  time.  The  first  one  in  Nevada  was  built  at  Egan  Can- 
yon and  was  a  small  insignificant  affair  and  compared  most 
xmfavorably  with  some  of  the  immense  establishments  after- 
wards located  at  Yirginia  City  and  elsewhere. 

From  our  bricks  a  little  corner  was  chipped  off  for  the 
"fire-assay" — a  method  used  to  determine  the  proportions  of 
gold,  silver  and  base  metals  in  the  mass.  This  is  an  interest- 
ing process.  The  chip  is  hammered  out  as  thin  as  paper  and 
weighed  on  scales  so  fine  and  sensitive  that  if  you  weigh  a 



two-inch  scrap  of  paper  on  them  and  then  write  your  name  on 
the  paper  with  a  coarse,  soft  pencil  and  weigh  it  again,  the 


scales  will  take  marked  notice  of  the  addition.  Then  a  little 
lead  (also  weighed)  is  rolled  up  with  the  flake  of  silver  and 
the  two  are  melted  at  a  great  heat  in  a  small  vessel  called  a 
cupel,  made  by  compressing  bone  ashes  into  a  cup-shape  in  a 
steel  mold.  The  base  metals  oxydize  and  are  absorbed  with 
the  lead  into  the  pores  of  the  cupel.  A  button  or  globule  of 
perfectly  pure  gold  and  silver  is  left  behind,  and  by  weighing 
it  and  noting  the  loss,  the  assayer  knows  the  proportion  of  base 
metal  the  brick  contains.  He  has  to  separate  the  gold  from 
the  silver  now.  The  button  is  hammered  out  flat  and  thin, 
put  in  the  furnace  and  kept  some  time  at  a  red  heat;  after 
cooling  it  off  it  is  rolled  up  like  a  quill  and  heated  in  a  glass 
vessel  Containing  nitric  acid ;  the  acid  dissolves  the  silver  and 
leaves  the  gold  pure  and  ready  to  be  weighed  on  its  own  merits. 



Then  salt  water  is  poured  into  the  vessel  containing  the  dis- 
solved silver  and  the  silver  returns  to  palpable  form  again  and 
sinks  to  the  bottom.  Nothing  now  remains  but  to  weigh  it ; 
then  the  proportions  of  the  seiveral  metals  contained  in  the 
brick  are  known,  and  the  assayer  stamps  the  value  of  the  brick 
Upon  its  surface. 

The  sagacious  reader  will  know  now,  without  being  told, 
that  the  speculative  miner,  in  getting  a  "  fire-assay  "  made  of  a 
piece  of  rock  from  his  mine  (to  help  him  sell  the  same),  was 
not  in  the  habit  of  picking  out  the  least  valua;ble  fragment  of 
rock  on  his  dump-pile,  but  quite  the  contrary.  I  have  seen 
men  hunt  over  a  pile  of  nearly  worthless  quartz  for  an  hour, 
and  at  last  find  a  little  piece  as  large  as  a  filbert,  which  was 
rich  in  gold  and  silver— and  this  was  reserved  for  a  fire-assay ! 
Of  course  the  fire-assay  would  demonstrate  that  a  ton  of  such 

rock  would  yield  hundreds 
of  dolkrs — and  on  such  as- 
says many  an  utterly  worth- 
less mine  was  sold. 

Assaying  was  a  good 
business,  and  so  some  men 
engaged  in  it,  occasionally, 
who  were  not  strictly  sci- 
entific and  capable.  One 
assayer  got  such  rich  results 
out  of  all  specimens  brought 
to  him  that  in  time  he 
acquired  almost  a  monopoly 
of  the  business.  But  like 
all  men  who  achieve  success, 
he  became  an  object  of  envy 
and  suspicion.  The  other 
assayers  entered  into  a 
conspiracy  against  him,  and  let  some  prominent  citizens  into 
the  secret  in  order  to  show  that  they  meant  fairly.  Then  they 
broke  a  little  fragment  off  a  carpenter's  grindstone  and  got  a 
stranger  to  take  it  to  the  popular  scientist  and  get  it  assayed. 
17t       ' 


258  A    STKIKE    FOE    HIGHER    WAGES. 

In  the  course  of  an  honr  the  result  came — whereby  it  ap- 
peared that  a  ton  of  that  rock  would  yield  $1,284.40  in  silver 
and  $366.36  in  gold ! 

Due  publication  of  the  whole  matter  was  made  in  the 
paper,  and  the  popular  assayer  left  town  "  between  two  days." 

I  will  remark,  in  passing,  that  I  only  remained  in  the 
milling  business  one  week.  I  told  my  employer  I  could  not 
stay  longer  without  an  advance  in  my  wages;  that  I  liked 
quartz  milling,  indeed  was  infatuated  with  it;  that  I  had 
never  before  grown  so  tenderly  attached  to  an  occupation  in 
so  short  a  time;  that  nothing,  it  seemed  to  me,  gave  such 
scope  to  intellectual  activity  as  feeding  a  battery  and  screening 
tailings,  and  nothing  so  stimulated  the  moral  attributes  as 
retorting  bullion  and  washing  blankets — ^still,  I  felt  constrained 
to  ask  an  increase  of  salary. 

He  said  he  was  paying  me  ten  dollars  a  week,  and  thought 
it  a  good  round  sum.     How  much  did  I  want  ? 

I  said  about  four  hundred  thousand  dollars  a  month,  and 
"board,  was  about  all  I  could  reasonably  ask,  considering  the 
hard  times. 

I  was  ordered  off  the  premises !  And  yet,  when  I  look 
back  to  those  days  and  call  to  mind  the  exceeding  hardness  of 
the  labor  I  performed  in  that  mill,  I  only  regret  that  I  did  not 
ask  him  seven  hundred  thousand. 

Shortly  after  this  I  began  to  grow  crazy,  along  with  tl;e 
rest  of  the  population,  about  the  mysterious  and  wonderful 
"  cement  mine,"  and  to  make  preparations  to  take  advantage 
of  any  opportunity  that  might  offer  to  go  and  help  hunt  for  it. 


IT  was  somewhere  in  the  neighborhood  of  Mono  Lake  that 
the  marvellous  Whiteman  cement  mine  was  supposed  to 
lie.  Every  now  and  then  it  would  be  reported  that  Mr.  W. 
had  passed  stealthily  through  Esmeralda  at  dead  of  night,  in 
disguise,  and  then  we  would  have  a  wild  excitement — ^because 
he  must  be  steering  for  his  secret  mine,  and  now  was  the  time 
to  follow  him.  In  less  than  three  hours  after  daylight  all  the 
horses  and  mules  and  donkeys  in  the  vicinity  would  be  bought, 
hired  or  stolen,  and  half  the  community  would  be  off  for  the 
mountains,  following  in  the  wake  of  Whiteman.  But  W.  would 
drift  about  through  the  mountain  gorges  for  days  together,  in 
a  purposeless  sort  of  way,  until  the  provisions  of  the  miners  ran 
out,  and  they  would  have  to  go  back  home.  I  have  known  it 
reported  at  eleven  at  night,  in  a  large  mining  camp,  that  White- 
man  had  just  passed  through,  and  in  two  hours  the  streets,  so 
quiet  before,  would  be  swarming  with  men  and  animals. 
Every  individual  would  be  trying  to  be  very  secret,  but  yet 
venturing  to  whisper  to  just  one  neighbor  that  W.  had  passed 
through.  And  long  before  daylight — ^this  in  the  dead  of  Win- 
ter— the  stampede  would  be  complete,  the  camp  deserted,  and 
the  whole  population  gone  chasing  after  W. 

The  tradition  was  that  in  the  early  immigration,  more  than 
twenty  years  ago,  three  young  Germans,  brothers,  who  had 
survived  an  Indian  massacre  on  the  Plains,  wandered  on  foot 
through  the  deserts,  avoiding  all  trails  and  roads,  and  simply 
holding  a  westerly  direction  and  hoping  to  find  California 
before  they  starved,  or  died  of  fatigue.  And  in  a  gorge  in  the 
mountains  they  sat  down  to  rest  one  day,  when  one  of  them 



noticed  a  curious  vein  of  cement  running  along  the  ground, 
shot  full  of  lumps  of  dull  yellow  metal.  They  saw  that  it  was 
gold,  and  that  here  was  a  fortune  to  be  acquired  in  a  single  day. 
The  vein  was  about  as  wide  as  a  curbstone,  and  fully  two  thirds 
of  it  was  pure  gold.    Every  pound  of  the  wonderful  cement  was 

worth  well-nigh  $200.  Each 
of  the  brothers  loaded  him- 
self with  about  twenty-five 
pounds  of  it,  and  then  they 
covered  up  all  traces  of  the 
vein,  made  a  rude  drawing 
of  the  locality  and  the  prin- 
cipal landmarks  in  the  vicin- 
ity, and  started  westward 
again.  But  troubles  thick- 
ened about  them.  In  their 
wanderings  one  brother  fell 
and  broke  his  leg,  and 
the  others  were  obliged  to 
igo  on  and  leave  him  to  die 
in  the  wilderness.  Another, 
worn  out  and  starving,  gave 
up  by  and  by,  and  laid  down 
to  die,  but  after  two  or  three 
weeks  of  incredible  hard- 
ships, the  third  reached  the 
settlements  of  California  ex- 
hausted, sick,  and  his  mind 
deranged  by  his  sufferings. 
He  had  thrown  away  all  his 
cement  but  a  few  fragments, 
but  these  were  sufficient  to 
set  everybody  wild  with  excitement.  However,  he  had  had 
enough  of  the  cement  country,  and  nothing  could  induce  him 
to  lead  a  party  thither.  He  was  entirely  content  to  work  .on 
a  farm  for  wages.  But  he  gave  Whiteman  his  map,  and 
described  the  cement  region  as  well  as  he  could,  and  thus 



transferreid  the  curse  to  that  gentleman — for  when  I  had  my 
one  accidental  glimpse  of  Mr.  W.  in  Esmeralda  he  had  been 
hunting  for  the  lost  mine,  in  hunger  and  thirst,  poverty  and 
sickness,  for  twelve  or  thirteen  years.  Some  people  believed 
he  had  found  it,  but  most  people  believed  he  had  not.  I  saw 
a  piece  of  cement  as  large  as  my  fist  which  was  said  to  have 
been  given  to  Whiteman  by  the  young  German,  and  it  was  of 
a  seductive  nature.  Lumps  of  virgin  gold  were  as  thick  in  it 
as  raisins  in  a  slice  of  fruit  cake.  The  privilege  of  working 
such  a  mine  one  week  would  be  sufficient  for  a  man  of  reason- 
able desires. 

A  new  partner  of  ours,  a  Mr.  Higbie,  knew  Whiteman  well 
by  sight,  and  a  friend  of  ours,  a  Mr.  Van  Dom,  was  well  ac- 
quainted with  him,  and  not  only  that,  but  had  Whiteman's 
promise  that  he  should  have  a  private  hint  in  time  to  enable 
him  to  join  the  next  cement  expedition.  Yan  Dorn  had  prom- 
ised to  extend  the  hint  to  us.  One  evening  Higbie  came  in 
greatly  excited,  and  said  he  felt  certain  he  had  recognized 
Whiteman,  up  town,  disguised  and  in  a  pretended  state  of  in- 
toxication. In  a  little  while  Van  Dorii  arrived  and  confirmed 
the  news ;  and  so  we  gathered  in  our  cabin  and  with  heads 
close  together  arranged  our  plans  in  impressive  whispers. 

We  were  to  leave  town  quietly,  after  midnight,  in  two 
or  three  small  parties,  so  as  not  to  attract,  attention,  and 
meet  at  dawn  on  the  "  divide  "  overlooking  Mono  Lake,  eight 
or  nine  miles  distant.  We  were  to  make  no  noise  after  start- 
ing, and  not  speak  above  a  whisper  under  any  circumstances. 
It  was  believed  that  for  once  Whiteman's  presence  was  un- 
known in  the  town  and  his  expedition  unsuspected.  Our 
conclave. broke  up  at  nine  o'clock,  and  we  set  about  our 
preparations  diligently  and  with  profound  secrecy.  At  eleven 
o'clock  we  saddled  our  horses,  hitched  them  with  their  long 
riatas  (or  lassos),  and  then  brought  out  a  side  of  bacon,  a  sack 
of  beans,  a  small  sack  of  coffee,  some  sugar,  a  hundred  poimds 
of  flour  in  sacks,  some  tin  cups  and  a  coffee  pot,  frying  pan 
and  some  few  other  necessary  articles.  All  these  things  were 
"packed"  on  the  back  of  a  led  horse — and  whoever  has  not  been 


taught,  by  a  Spanish  adept,  to  pack  an  animal,  let  him  never 
hope  to  do  the  thing  by  natural  smartness.  That  is  impossible. 
Higbie  had  had  some  experience,  but  was  not  perfect.  He 
put  on  the  pack  saddle  (a  thing  like  a  saw-buck),  piled  the 
property  on  it  and  then  wound  a  rope  all  over  and  about  it 
and  under  it,  "  every  which  way,"  taking  a  hitch  in  it  every 
now  and  then,  and  occasionally  surging  back  on  it  till  the 
horse's  sides  sunk  in  and  he  gasped  for  breath — ^but  every  time 
the  lashings  grew  tight  in  one  place  they  loosened  in  another. 
We  never  did  get  the  load  tight  all  over,  but  we  got  it  so  that 
it  would  do,  after  a  fashion,  and  then  we  started,  in  single  file, 
close  order,  and  without  a  word.  It  was  a  dark  night.  We 
kept  the  middle  of  the  road,  and  proceeded  in  a  slow  walk 
past  the  rows  of  cabins,  and  whenever  a  miner  came  to  his 
door  I  trembled  for  fear  the  light  would  shine  on  us  and  ex- 
cite enriosity.  But  nothing  happened.  We  began  the  long 
winding  ascent  of  the  canyon,  toward  the  "  divide,"  and  pres- 
ently the  cabins  began  to  grow  infrequent,  and  the  intervals 
between  them  wider  and  wider,  and  then  I  began  to  breathe 
tolerably  freely  and  feel  less  like  a  thief  and  a  murderer.  I 
was  in  the  rear,  leading  the  pack  horse.  As  the  ascent  grew 
steeper  he  grew  proportionately  less  satisfied  with  his  cargo, 
and  began  to,  pull  back  on  his  riata  occasionally  and  delay 
progress.  My  comrades  were  passing  out  of  sight  in  the 
gloom.  I  was  getting  anxious.  I  coaxed  and  bullied  the 
pack  horse  till- 1  presently  got  liim  into  a  trot,  and  then  the 
tin  cups  and  pans  strung  about  his  person  frightened  him  and 
he  ran.  His  riata  was  wound  around  the  pummel  of  my 
saddle,  and  so,  as  he  went  by  he  dragged  me  from  my  horse 
and  the  two  animals  traveled  briskfy  on  without  me.  But  I 
was  not  alone — ^the  loosened  cargo  tumbled  overboard  from 
the  pack  horse  and  fell  close  to  me.  It  was  abreast  of  almost 
the  last  cabin.    A  miner  came  out  and  said : 


I  was  thirty  steps  from  him,  and  knew  he  could  not  see 
me,  it  was  so  very  dark  in  the  shadow  of  the  mountain.  So  I 
lay  still.    Another  head  appeared  in  the  light  of  tlie  cabin 



door,  and  presently  the  two  men  walked  toward  me.     They 
stopped  within  ten  steps  of  me,  and  one  said: 
"'St!    Listen." 


I  could  not  have  been  in  a  more  distressed  state  if  I  had, 
been  escaping  justice  with  a  price  on  my  head.  Then  the 
miners  appeared  to  sit  down  on  a  boulder,  though  t  could  not 
see  them  distinctly  enough  to  be  ve;ry  sure  what  they  did. 
One  said : 

"  I  heard  a  noise,  as  plain  as  I  ever  heard  anything.  It 
seemed  to  be  about  there — " 

A  stbne  whizzed  by  my  head.  I  flattened  myself  out  in 
the  dust  like  a '  postage  stamp,  and  tjiought.  to  myself  if  he 
mended  his  aim  ever  so  little  he  would  probably  hear  another 
noise.  In  my  heart,  now,  I  execrated  secret  expeditions.  I 
promised  myself  that  this  should  be  my  last,  though  the  Sierras 
were  ribbed  with  cement  veins..    Then,  one  of  the  meuisaid :: 

"  I'll  tell  you  what !  "Welch  knew  what  lie  was- talking  about 

264  A    WEEK'S    HOLIDAY. 

when  he  said  he  saw  Whiteman  to-day.     I  heard  horses — that 
was  the  noise.     I  am  going  down  to  Welch's,  right  away." 

They  left  and  I  was  glad.  I  did  not  care  whither  they 
went,  so  they  went.  I  was  willing  they  should  visit  Welch, 
and  the  sooner  the  better. 

As  soon  as  they  closed  their  cabin  door  my  comrades 
emerged  from  the  gloom ;  they  had  canght  the  horses  and  were 
waiting  for  a  clear  coast  again.  We  remounted  the  cargo  on 
the  pack  horse  and  got  under  way,  and  as  day  broke  we 
reached  the  "  divide  "  and  joined  Yan  Dom.  Then  we  jour- 
neyed down  into  the  valley  of  the  Lake,  and  feeling  secure, 
we  halted  to  cook  breakfast,  for  we  were  tired  and  sleepy  and 
hungry.  Three  hours  later  the  rest  of  the  population  filed  over 
the  "  divide  "  in  a  long  procession,  and  drifted  off  out  of  sight 
around  the  borders  of  the  Lake ! 

Whether  or  not  my  accident  had  produced  this  result  we 
never  knew,  but  at  least  one  thing  was  certain — the  secret  was 
,out  and  Whiteman  would  not  enter  iipon  a  search  for  the 
,  cement  mine  this  time.    We  were  filled  with  chagrin. 

We  held  a  council  and  decided  to  make  the  best  of  our 
,  misfortune  and  enjoy  a  week's  holiday  on  the  borders  of  the 
,  curious  Lake.  Mono,  it  is  sometimes  called,  and  sometimes 
ithe  "  Dead  Sea  of  California."  It  is  one  of  the  strangest  freaks 
.of  M.ature  to  be  found  in  any  land,  but  it  is  hardly  ever  men- 
tioned in  print  and  very  seldom  visited,  because  it  lies  away 
off  the  lusual  routes  of  travel  and  besides  is  so  difficult  to  get 
at  that  ,«nly  men  content  to  endure  the  roughest  life  wiU  con- 
sent to  take  upon  themselves  the  discomforts  of  such  a  trip. 
On  the  merning  of  our  second  day,  we  traveled  around  to  a 
remote  and  particularly  wild  spot  on  the  borders  of  the  Lake, 
where  a  stream  of  fresh,  ice-cold  water  entered  it  from  the 
mountain  side,  and  then  we  went  regularly  into  camp.  We 
hired  a  large  boat  and  two  shot-gtms  from  a  lonely  ranchman 
who  lived  some  ten  miles  further  on,  and  made  ready  for  com- 
fort and  recreation.  We  soon  got  thoroughly  acquainted  with 
the  Lake  and  all  its  peculiarities. 


MONO  LAKE  lies  in  a  lifeless,  treeless,  hideous  desert, 
eight  thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  is 
guarded  by  mountains  two  thousand  feet  higher,  whose  sum- 
mits are  always  clothed  in  clouds.  This  solemn,  silent,  sailless 
sea — this  lonely  tenant  of  the  loneliest  spot  on  earth — ^is  little 
graced  with  the  picturesque.  It  is  an  unpretending  expanse 
of  grayish  water,  about  a  hundred  miles  in  circumference, 
with  two  islands  in  its  centre,  mere  upheavals  of  rent  and 
scorched  and  blistered  lava,  snowed  over  with  gray  banks  and 
drifts  of  pumice-stone  and  ashes,  the  winding  sheet  of  the 
dead  volcano,  whose  vast  crater  the  lake  has  seized  upon  and 

The  lake  is  two  hundred  feet  deep,  and  its  sluggish  waters 
are  so  strong  with  alkali  that  if  you  only  dip  the  most  hope- 
lessly soiled  garment  into  them  once  or  twice,  and  wring  it  out, 
it  will  be  found  as  clean  as  if  it  had  been  through  the  ablest 
of  washerwomen's  hands.  WhUe  we  camped  there  oar  laundry 
work  was  easy.  "We  tied  the  week's  washing  astern  of  our 
,boat,  and  sailed  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  and  the  job  was  complete, 
all  to  tiie  wringing  out.  If  we  threw  the  water  on  our  heads 
and  gave  them  a  rub  or  so,  the  white  lather  would  pile  up  three 
inches  high.  This  water  is  not  good  for  bruised  places  and 
abrasions  of  the  skin.  "We  had  a  valuable  dog.  He  had  raw 
places  on  him.  He  had  more  raw  places  on  him  than  sound 
ones.  He  was  the  rawest  dog  I  almost  ever  saw.  He  jumped 
overboard  one  day  to  get  away  from  the  flies.    But  it  was  bad 


VERY    HARD    ON    OUR    DOG. 

judgment.     In  his  condition,  it  would  have  been  just  as  com- 
fortable to  jump  into  the  fire.     The  alkali  water  nipped  him 

in  all  the  raw  places 

simultaneously,  and 
he  struck  out  for  the 
shore  with  consider- 
able interest.  He 
yelped  and  barked 
and  howled  as  he 
went— and  by  the 
time  he  got  to  the 
shore  there  was  no 
bark  to  him — ^for  he 
had  barked  the  bark 
all  out  of  his  inside, 
and  the  alkali  water 
had  cleaned  the  bark 
all  off  his  outside, 
and  he  probably  wished  he  had  never  embarked  in  any  such 
enterprise.    He  ran  round  and  round  in  a  circle,  and  pawed 



the  earth  and  clawed  the  air,  and  threw  double  somersaults^ 
sometimes  backward    and  sometimes  forward,  in    the  most 


extraordinary  manner.  He  was  not  a  demonstrative  dog,  as 
a  general  thing,  but  rather  of  a  grave  and  serious  turn  of 
mind,  and  I  never  saw  him  take  so  much  interest  in  anything 
before.  He  finally  struck  out, over  the  mountains,  at  a  gait 
which  we  estimated  at  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  miles  an 
hour,  and  he  is  going  yet.  This  was  about  nine  years  ago. 
"We  look  for  what  is  left  of  him  along  here  every  day. 

A  white  man  cannot  drink  the  water  of  Mono  Lake,  for  it 
is  nearly  pure  lye.  It  is  said  that  the  Indians  in  the  vicinity 
drink  it  sometimes,  though.  It  is  not  improbable,  for  they 
are  among  the  purest  liars  I  ever  saw.  [There  will  be  no  ad- 
ditional charge  for  this  joke,  except  to  parties  reqtiiring  an 
'  explanation  of  it.  This  joke,  has  received  high  commeiidation 
from  some  of  the  ablest  minds  of  the  age.] 

There  are  no  fish  in  Mono  Lake — no  fi-ogs,  no.  snakes,  no 
poUiwigs — nothing,  in  fact,  that  goes  to  make  life  desirable. 
Millions  of  wild  ducks  and  sea-gulls  swim  about  the  surface, 
but  no  living  thing  exists  under  the  surface,  except  a  white 
feathery  sort  of  worm,  one  half  an  inch  long,  which  looks  like 
a  bit  of  white  thread  frayed  out  at  the  sides.  If  you  dip  up  a 
gallon  of  water,  you  will  get  about  fifteen  thousand  of  these. 
They  give  to  the  water  a  sort  of  grayish-white  appearance. 
Then  there  is  a  fly,  which  looks  something  Tike  our  house  fly. 
These  settle  on  the  beach  to  eat  the  worms  that  wash  ashore 
— and  any  time,  you  can  see  there  a  belt  of  flies  an  inch  deep 
and  six  feet  wide,  and  this  belt  extends  clear  around  the  lake 
— a  belt  of  flies  one  hundred  miles  long.  If  you  throw  a  stone 
among  them,  they  swarm  up  so  thick  that  they  look  dense,  like 
a  cloud.  Tou  can  hold  them  under  water  as  long  as  you  please 
— they  4o  not  mind  it — ^they  are  only  proud  of  it.  When  you 
let  them  go,  they"  pop  up  to  the  surface  as  dry  as  a  patent  oflBce 
report,  and  walk  off  as  unconcernedly  as  if  they  had  been 
educated  especially  with  a  view  to  affording  instructive  enter- 
tainment to  man  in  that  particular  way.  Providence  leaves 
nothing  to  go  by  chance.  All  things  have  their  uses  and  their 
part  and  proper  place  in  Nature's  economy :  the  ducks  eat  the 
flies— the  flies  eat  the  worms— the  Indians  eat  all  three — the 


A    FKEE    HOTEL    BUT    NO    CLEKK. 

wild  cats  eat  the  Indians — the  white  folks  eat  the  wild  cats^ — 
and  thus  all  things  are  lovely. 

Mono  Lake  is  a  hundred  miles  in  a  straight  line  from  the 
ocean — and  between  it  and  the  ocean  are  one  or  two  ranges 
of  mountains — ^yet  thousands  of  sea-gullB  go  there  every  season 
to  lay  their  eggs  and  rear  their  young.  One  would  as  soon 
expect  to  find  sea-gulls  in  Kansas.  And  in  this  connection  let 
us  observe  another  instance  of  Nature's  wisdom..  The  islands 
in  the  lake  being  merely  huge  masses  of  lava,  coated  over  with 
ashes  and  pumice-stone,  and  utterly  innocent  of  vegetation  or 
anything  that  would  bum ;  and  sea-gulls'  eggs  being  entirely 
useless  to  anybody  unless  they  be  cooked,  Nature  has  provided 
an  unfailing  spring  of  boiling  water  on  the  largest  island,  and 
you  can  put  your  eggs  in  there,  and  in  four  minutes  you  can 
boil  them  as  hard  as  any  statement  I  have  made  during  the  past 
fifteen  years.  Within  ten  feet  of  the  boiling  spring  is  a  spring 
of  pure  cold  water,  sweet  and  wholesome.     So,  in  that  island 


you  get  your  board  and  washing  free  of  charge — and  if  nature 
had  sone  further  and  furnished  a  nice  American  hotel  clerk 
who  was  crusty  and  disobliging,  and  didn't  know  anything 
about  the  time  tables,  or  the  railroad  routes — or — anything — 
and  was  proud  of  it — ^I  would  not  wish  for  a  more  desirable 

Half  a  dozen   little   mountain   brooks  flow  into  Mono 
Lake,  but  not  a' stream  of  a/ny  hind  flows  out  of  it.    It  neither 


rises  nor  falls,  apparently,  and  what  it  does  with  its  surplus 
water  is  a  dark  and  bloody  mystery. 

There  are  only  two  seasons  in  the  region  round  about 
Mono  Lake — and  these  are,  the  breaking  up  of  one  Winter 
and  the  beginning  of  the  next.  More  than  once  (in  Esme- 
ralda) I  have  seen  a  perfectly  blistering  morning  open  up  with 
the  thermometer  at  ninety  degrees  at  eight  o'clock,  and  seen 
the  snow  fall  fourteen  inches  deep  and  that  same  identical 
thermometer  go  down  to  forty-four  degrees  under  shelter, 
before  nine  o'clock  at  night.  Under  favorable  circumstances 
it  snows  at  least  once  in  every  single  month  in  the  year,  in  the 
little  town  of  Mono.  So  imcertain  is  the  climate  in  Summer 
that  a  lady  who  goes  out  visiting  cannot  hope  to  be  prepared 
for  all  emergencies  unless  she  takes  her  fan  under  one  arm  and 
her  snow  shoes  under  the  other.  When  they  have  a  Fourth 
of  July  procession  it  generally  snows  on  them,  and  they  do  say 
that  as  a  general  thing  when  a  man  calls  for  a  brandy  toddy 
there,  the  bar  keeper  chops  it  off  with  a  hatchet  and  wraps  it 
up  in  a  paper,  like  maple  sugar.  And  it  is  farther  reported 
that  the  old  soakers  haven't  any  teeth — wore  them  out  eating 
gin  cocktails  and  brandy  punches.  I  do  not  endorse  that  state- 
ment— I  simply  give  it  for  what  it  is  worth— and  it  is  worth — 
well,  I  should  say,  millions,  to  any  man  who  can  believe  it 
without  straining  himself.  But  I  do  endorse  the  snow  on  the 
Fourth  of  July — ^because  I  know  that  to  be  true. 


ABOUT  seven  o'clock  one  blistering  hot  morning — ^for  it 
was  now  dead  summer  time — Higbie  and  I  took  the 
boat  and  started  on  a  voyage  of  discovery  to  the  two  islands. 
We  had  often  longed  to  do  this,  but  had  been  deterred  by  the 
fear  of  storms ;  for  they  were  frequent,  and  severe  enough  to 
capsize  an  ordinary  row-boat  like  ours  without  great  difficulty 
— and  once  capsized,  death  would  ensue  in  spite  of  the  bravest 
swimming,  for  that  venomous  water  would  eat  a  man's  eyes 
out  like  fire,  and  burn  him  out  inside,  too,  if  he  shipped  a  sea. 
It  was  called  twelve  miles,  straight  out  to  the  islands — a  long 
puU  and  a  warm  one — but  the  morning  was  so  quiet  and  sunny, 
and  the  lake  so  smooth  and  glassy  and  dead,  that  we  could  not 
.resist  the  temptation.  So  we  filled  two  large  tin  canteens 
with  water  (since  we  were  not  acquainted  with  the  locality  of 
the  spring  said  to  exist  on  the  large  island),  and  started. 
Higbie's  braswiy  muscles  gave  the  boat  good  speed,  but  by  the 
time  we  reached  our  destination  we  judged  that  we  had  pulled 
nearer  fifteen  miles  than  twelve. 

We  landed  on  the  Dig  island  and  went  ashore.  We  tried 
the  water  in  the  canteens,  now,  and  found  that  the  sun  had 
spoiled  it ;  it  was  so  brslckish  that  we  could  not  drink  it ;  so 
we  poured  it  out  and  began  a  search  for  the  spring — for  thirst 
augments  fast  as  soon  as  it  is  apparent  that  one  hae  no  means 
at  hand  of  quenching  it.  The  island  was  a  long,  moderately 
high  hill  of  ashes-^nothing  but  gray  ashes  and  pumice-stone, 
in  which  we  sunk  to  our  knees  at  every  step — and  all  around 



the  top  was  a  forbidding  wall  of  scorched  and  blasted  rocks. 
When  we  reached  the  top  and  got  within  the  wall,  we  found 
simply  a  shallow,  far-reaching  basin,  carpeted  with  ashes,  and 
here  and  there  a  patch  of  fine  sand.  In  places,  pictui-esque 
jets  of  steam  shot  up  out  of  crevices,  giving  evidence  that 
although  tliis  ancient  crater  had  gone  out  of  active  business, 
there  was  still  some  fire  left  in  its  furnaces.  Close  to  one  of 
these  jets  of  steam  stood  the  only  tree  on  the  island — a  small 
pine  of  most  graceful  shape  and  most  faultless  symmetry ;  its 
color  was  a  brilliant  green,  for  the  steam  drifted  unceasingly 
through  its  branches  and  kept  them  always  moist.  It  con- 
trasted strangely  enough,  did  this  vigorous  and  beautiful  outcast, 
with  its  dead  and  dismal  surroundings.  It  was  like  a  cheerful 
spirit  in  a  mourn- 
ing household. 

"We  hunted  for 
the  spring  every- 
where, traversing 
the  fiill  len|^  of 
the  island  (two  or 
three  miles),  and 
crossing  it  twice — 
climbing  ash-hills 
patiently,  aad  then 
sliding  down  the 
^other  side  in  a 
sitting  posture, 
plowing  up  smoth- 
ering volumes  of 
gray  du^t.  But  we 
found  nothing  but 
solitude,  ashes  and 
a  heart  -  breaking 
silence.  Finally  we  noticed  that  the  wind  had  risen,  and  we 
forgot  our  thirst  in  a  solicitude  of  greater  importance;  for, 
the  lake  beipg  quiet,  we  had  not  taken  pains  about  secur- 
ing the  boat.    "We  hurried  back  to  a  point  overlooking  our 


2Y2  OUR    BOAT    ADRIFT    ON    THE    LAKE. 

landing  place,  and  then — but  mere  words  cannot  describe 
our  dismay — the  boat  was  gone!  The  chances  were  that 
there  was  not  another  boat  on  the  entire  lake.  The  situa- 
tion was  not  comfortable — ^in  truth,  to  speak  plainly,  it  was 
frightful.  "We  were  prisoners  on  a  desolate  island,  in  aggrar 
rating  proximity  to  friends  who  were  for  the  present  help- 
less to  aid  us;  and  what  was  still  more  uncomfortable  was 
the  reflection  that  we  had  neither  food  nor  water.  But  pres- 
ently we  sighted  the  boat.  It  was  drifting  along,  leisurely, 
about  fifty  yards  from  shore,  tossing  in  a  foamy  sea.  It 
drifted,  and  continued  to  drift,  but  at  the  same  safe  dis- 
tance from  land,  and  we  walked  along  abreast  it  and  waited 
for  fortune  to  favor  us.  At  the  end  of  an  hour  it  approached 
a  jutting  cape,  and  Higbie  ran  ahead  and  posted  himself 
on  the  utmost  verge  and  prepared  for  the  assault.  If  we 
failed  there,  there  was  no  hope  for  us.  It  was  driving  gradu- 
ally shoreward  all  the  time,  now ;  but  whether  it  was  driving 
fast  enough  to  make  the  connection  or  not  was  the  momen- 
tous question.  When  it  got  within  thirty  steps  of  Higbie 
I  was  so  excited  that  I  fancied  I  could  hear  my  own  heart 
beat.  When,  a  little  later,  it  dragged  slowly  along  and 
seemed  about  to  go  by,  only  one  little  yard  out  of  reach,  it 
seemed  as  if  my  heart  stood  still ;  and  when  it  was  exactly 
abreast  him  and  began  to  widen  away,  and  he  still  standing 
like  a  watching  statue,  I  knew  my  heart  did  stop.  But  when 
he  gave  a  great  spring,  the  next  instant,  and  lit  fairly  in  the 
stem,  I  discharged  a  war-whoop  that  woke  the  solitudes ! 

But  it  dulled  my  enthusiasm,  presently,  when  he  told  me 
he  had  not  been  caring  whether  the  boat  came  within  jumping 
distance  or  not,  so  that  it  passed  within  eight  or  ten  yards  of 
him,  for  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  shut  his  eyes  and  mouth 
and  swim  that  trifling  distance.  Imbecile  that  I  was,  I  had  not 
thought  of  that.     It  was  only  a  long  swim  that  could  be  fatal. 

The  sea  was  running  high  and  the  storm  increasing.  It 
was  growing  late,  too — three  or  four  in  the  afternoon. 
Whether  to  venture  toward  the  mainland  or  not,  was  a  ques- 
tion of  some  moment.     But  we  were  so  distressed  by  thirst 



that  we  decided  to  try  it,  and  so  Higbie  fell  to  work  and  I 
took  tlie  steering-oar.  When  we  had  pulled  a  mile,  laboriously, 
we  were  evidently  in  serious  peril,  for  the  storm  had  greatly 


augmented;  the  billows  ran  very  high  and  were  capped  with 
foaming  crests,  the  heavens  were  hung  with  black,  and  the 
wind  blew  with  great  fury.  We  would  have  gone  back,  now, 
but  we  did  not  dare  to  turn  the  boat  around,  because  as  soon 
as  she  got  in  the  trough  of  the  sea  she  would  upset,  of  course. 
Our  only  hope  lay  in  keeping  her  head-on  to  the  seas.  It  was 
hard  work  to  do  this,  she  plunged  so,  and  so  beat  and  belabored 
the  billows  with  her  rising  and  falling  bows.  JSTow  and  tlien 
one  of  Higbie's  oars  would  trip  on  the  top  of  a  wave,  and  the 
other  one  would  snatch  the  boat  half  around  in  spite  of  my 
cumbersome  steering  apparatus.  We  were  drenched  by  the 
sprays  constantly,  and  the  boat  occasionally  shipped  water. 
By  and  by,  powerful  as  my  comrade  was,  his  great  exertions 
began  to  tell  on  him,  and  he  was  anxious  that  I  should  change 
places  with  him  .till  he  could  rest  a  little.  But  I  told  him 
this  was  impossible ;  for  if  the  steering  oar  wece  dropped  a 

274  A    NUT    FOR    GEOLOGISTS. 

moment  while  we  changed,  the  boat  would  slue  around  into 
the  trough  of  the  sea,  capsize,  and  in  less  than  five  minutes  we 
would  have  a  hundred  gallons  of  soap-suds  in  us  and  be  eaten 
up  so  quickly  that  we  could  not  even  be  present  at  our  own 

But  things  cannot  last  always.  Just  as  the  darkness  shut 
down  we  came  booming  into  port,  head  on.  Higbie  dropped 
his  oars  to  hurrah— I  dropped  mine  to  help — the  sea  gave  the 
boat  a  twist,  and  over  she  went ! 

The  agony  that  alkali  water  inflicts  on  bruises,  chafes  and 
blistered  hands,  is  unspeakable,  and  nothing  but  greasing  all 
over  will  modify  it — but  we  ate,  drank  and  slept  well,  that 
night,  notwithstanding. 

In  speaking  of  the  pecidiarities  of  Mono  Lake,  I  ought  to 
have  mentioned  that  at  intervals  all  around  its  shores  stand 
picturesque  turret-looking  masses  and  clusters  of  a  whitish, 
coarse-grained  rock  that  resembles  inferior  mortar  dried  hard ; 
and  if  one  breaks  off  fragments  of  this  rock  he  will  find 
perfectly  shaped  and  thoroughly  petrified  gulls'  eggs  deeply 
imbedded  in  the  mass.  How  did  they  get  there  ?  I  simply 
state  the  fact — for  it  is  a  fact — and  leave  the  geological  reader 
to  crack  the  nut  at  his  leisure  and  solve  the  problem  after  his 
own  fashion. 

At  the  end  of  a  week  we  adjourned  to  the  Sierras  on  a 
fishing  excursion,  and  spent  several  days  in  camp  under  snowy 
Castle  Peak,  and  fished  successfully  for  trout  in  a  bright, 
miniature  lake  whose  surface  was  between  ten  and  eleven 
thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea;  cooling  ourselves 
during  the  hot  August  noons  by  sitting  on  snow  banks  ten  feet 
deep,  under  whose  sheltering  edges  fine  grass  and  dainty 
flowers  flourished  luxuriously ;  and  at  night  entertaining 
ourselves  by  almost  freezing  to  death.  Then  we  returned  to 
Mono  Lake,  and  finding  that  the  cement  excitement  was  over 
for  the  present,  packed  up  and  went  back  to  Esmeralda.  Mr. 
Ballou  reconnoitred  awhile,  and  not  liking  the  prospect,  set 
out  alone  for  Humboldt. 

About  this  time  occurred  a  little  incident  which  has  always 



had  a  sort  of  interest  to  me,  jfrom  the  fact  that  it  came  so  near 
'"  instigating  "  my  funeral.  At  a  time  when  an  Indian  attack 
had  been  expected,  the  citizens  hid  their  gunpo'^der  where  it 
would  be  safe  and  yet  convenient  to  hand  when  wanted.  A 
neighbor  of  ours  hid  six  cans  of  rifle  powder  in  the  bake-oven 
of  an  old  discarded  cooking  stove  which  stood  on  the  open 
ground  near  a  frame  out-house  or  shed,  and  from  and  after 
that  day  never  thought  of  it  again.  We  hired  a  half-tamed 
Indian  to  do  some  washing  for  us,  and  he  took  up  quarters 
under  the  shed  with  his  tub.  The  ancient  stove  repcised  witli- 
in  six  feet  of  him,  and  before  his  face.  Finally  it  occurred  to 
him  that  hot  water  would  be  better  than  cold,  and  he  went 
out  and  fired  up  under  that  forgotten  powder  maga^iine  and 
set  on  a  kettle  of  water.     Then  he  returned  to  his  tub.     I 


entered  the  shed  presently  and  threw  down  some  more  clothes, 
and  was  about  to  speak  to  him  when  the  stove  blew  up  with  a 
prodigious  crash,  and  disappeared,  leaving  not  a  splinter  be- 
hind. Fragments  of  it  fell  in  the  streets  full  two  hundred 
yards  away.    ]S"early  a  third  of  the  shed  roof  over  our  heads 


was  destroyed,  and  one  of  the  stove  lids,  after  cutting  a  small 
stanchion  half  in  two  in  front  of  the  Indian,  whizzed  between 
us  and  drove  partly  through  the  weather-boarding  beyond.  I 
was  as  white  as  a  sheet  and  as  weak  as  a  kitten  and  speechless. 
But  the  Indian  betrayed  no  trepidation,  no  distress,  not  even 
discomfort.  He  simply  stopped  washing,  leaned  forward  and 
surveyed  the  clean,  blank  ground  a  moment,  and  then  re- 
marked : 

'<  Mph !  Dam  stove  heap  gone ! " — and  resumed  his  scrub- 
bing as  placidly  as  if  it  were  an  entirely  customary  thing  for  a 
stove  to  do.  I  will  explain,  that  "  heap  "  is  "  Injim-English  " 
for  "  very  much."  The  reader  will  perceive  the  exhaustive 
expressiveness  of  it  in  the  present  instance. 


I  NOW  come  to  a  curious  episode — ^the  most  curious,  I 
think,  that  had  yet  accented  mj  slothful,  valueless,  heed- 
less career.  Out  of  a  hillside  toward  the  upper  end  of  the 
town,  projected  a  wall  of  reddish  looking  quartz-croppings,  the 
exposed  comb  of  a  silver-bearing  ledge  that  extended  deep 
down  into  the  earth,  of  course.  It  was  owned  by  a  company 
entitled  the  "  "Wide  "West."  There  was  a  shaft  sixty  or  seventy 
feet  deep  on  the  under  side  of  the  croppings,  and  everybody 
was  acquainted  with  the  rock  that  came  from  it — and  tolerably 
rich  rock  it  was,  too,  but  nothing  extraordinary.  I  wiU  remark 
here,  that  although  to  the  inexperienced  stranger  all  the  quartz 
of  a  particular  "  district "  looks  about  alike,  an  old  resident  of 
the  camp  can  take  a  glance  at  a  mixed  pile  of  rock,  separate 
the  fragments  and  tell  you  which  mine  each  came  from,  as 
easily  as  a  confectioner  can  separate  and  classify  the  various 
kinds  and  qualities  of  candy  in  a  mixed  heap  of  the  article. 

All  at  once  the  town  was  thrown  into  a  state  of  extraor- 
dinary excitement.  In  mining  parlance  the  "Wide  "West  had 
"  struck  it  rich ! "  Everybody  went  to  see  the  new  developments, 
and  for  some  days  there  was  such  a  crowd  of  people  about  the 
"Wide  "West  shaft  that  a  stranger  would  have  supposed  there 
was  a  mass  meeting  in  session  there.  No  other  topic  was 
discussed  but  the  rich  strike,  and  nobody  thought  or  dreamed 
about  anything  else.  Every  man  brought  away  a  specimen, 
ground  it  up  in  a  hand  mortar,  washed  it  out  in  his  horn 
spoon,  and  glared  speechless  upon  the  marvelous  result.    It 

278  THE    "WIDE    WEST"    SILVER    LEDGE. 

was  not  liard  rock,  but  black,  decomposed  stuff  which  could 
be  crumbled  in  the  hand  like  a  baked  potato,  and  when  spread 
out  on  a  paper  exhibited  a  thick  sprinkling  of  gold  and  par- 
ticles of  "native"  silver.  Higbie  brought  a  handful  to  the 
cabin,  and  when  he  had  washed  it  out  his  amazement  was 
beyond  description.  "Wide  West  stock  soared  skywards.  It 
was  said  that  repeated  offers  had  been  made  for  it  at  a  thou- 
sand dollars  a  foot,  and  promptly  refused.  We  have  all  had 
the  "  blues  " — the  mere  sky-blues — ^but  mine  were  indigo,  now 
— ^because  I  did  not  own  in  the  Wide  West.  The  world 
seemed  hollow  to  me,  and  existence  a  grief.  I  lost  my  appe- 
tite, and  ceased  to  take  an  interest  in  anything.  Still  I  had 
to  stay,  and  listen  to  other  people's  rejoicings,  because  I  had 
no  money  to  get  out  of  the  camp  with. 

The  Wide  West  company  put  a  stop  to  the  carrying  away 
of  "  specimens,"  and  well  they  might,  for  every  handful  of  the 
ore  was  worth  a  sum  of  some  consequence.  To  show  the 
exceeding  value  of  the  ore,  I  will  remark  that  a  sixteen-hun- 
dred-pounds  parcel  of  it  was  sold,  just  as  it  lay,  at  the  mouth 
of  the  shaft,  at  one  dollar  a  pound  ;  and  the  man  who  bought 
it  "  packed  "  it  on  mules  a  hundred  and  lifty  or  two  hundred 
miles,  over  the  mountains,  to  San  Francisco,  satisfied  that  it 
would  yield  at  a  rate  that  would  richly  compensate  him  for  his 
trouble.  The  Wide  West  people  also  commanded  their  foreman 
to  refuse  any  but  their  own  operatives  permission  to  enter  the 
mine  at  any  time  or  for  any  purpose.  I  kept  up  my  "  blue" 
meditations  and  Higbie  kept  up  a  deal  of  thinking,  too,  but 
of  a  different  sort.  He  puzzled  over  the  "  rock,"  examined  it 
with  a  glass,  inspected  it  in  different  lights  and  from  different 
points  of  view,  and  after  each  experiment  delivered  himself,  in 
soliloquy,  of  one  and  the  same  unvarying  opinion  in  the  same 
unvarying  formula : 

"  It  is  not  Wide  West  rock  !  " 

He  said  once  or  twice  that  he  meant  to  have  a  look  into  the 
Wide  West  shaft  if  he  got  shot  for  it.  I  was  wretched,  and 
did  not  care  whether  he  got  a  look  into  it  or  not.  He  failed 
that  day,  and  tried  again  at  night;  failed  again;  got  up  at 



dawn  and,  tried,  and  failed  again.  Then  he  lay  in  ambush  in 
the  sage  brush  hour  after  hour,  waiting  for  the  two  or  three 
hands  to  adjourn  to  the  shade  of  a  boulder  for  dinner ;  made 
a  start  once,  but  was  premature — one  of  the  men  came  back 
for  something ;  tried  it  again,  but  when  almost  at  the  mouth 
of  the  shaft,  another  of  the  men  rose  up  from  behind  the  boul- 
der as  if  to  reconnoitre,  and  he  dropped  on  the  ground  and  lay 
quiet;  presently  he  crawled  on  his  hands  and  knees  to  the 
mouth  of  the  shaft,  gave  a  quick  glance  around,  then  seized 
the  rope  and  slid  down 
the  shaft.  He  disap- 
peared in  the  gloom  of 
a  " side  drift"  just  as  a 
head  appeared  in  the 
mouth  of  the  shaft  and 
somebody  shouted 
"Hello!"  — which  he 
did  not  answer.  He  was 
not  disturbed  any  more. 
An  hour  later  he  en- 
tered the  cabin,  hot,  red, 
and  ready  to  burst  with 
smothered  excitement, 
and  exclaimed  in  a  stage  wh 

"I   knew    it!      "We  aj 
rich !    It's  a  blind  lead  !  " 

I  thought  the  very  eartli 
reeled  under  me.  Doubt - 
conviction^ — doubt  again — ex- 
ultation— hope,  amazement, 
belief,  unbelief — every  emo- 
tion imaginable  swept  in  wild  procession  through  my  heart 
and  brain,  and  I  could  not  speak  a  word.  After  a  moment 
or  two  of  this  mental  fury,  I  shook  myself  to  rights,  and 

"  Say  it  again !  " 




"  It's  a  blind  lead ! " 

"  Cal.,  let's — let's  bum  the  house — or  kill  somebody !  Let's 
get  out  where  there's  room  to  hurrah !  But  what  is  the  use? 
It  is  a  hundred  times  too  good  to  be  true." 

"  It's  a  blind  lead,  for  a  million  ! — hanging  wall— foot  wall 
— <;lay  casings — everything  complete ! "  He  swung  his  hat  and 
gave  three  cheers,  and  I  cast  doubt  to  the  winds  and  chimed 
in  with  a  will.  For  I  was  worth  a  million  dollars,  and  did 
not  care  "  whether  school  kept  or  not ! " 

But  perhaps  I  ought  to  explain.     A  "blind  lead"  is  a 

lead  or  ledge  that 
does  not  "  crop  out " 
above  the  surface.  A 
miner  does  not  know 
where  to  look  for 
such  leads,  but  they 
are  often  stumbled 
upon  by  accideut  in 
the  course  of  driving 
a  tunnel  or  sinking  a 
shaft.  Higbie  knew 
the  "Wide  West  rock 
perfectly  well,  and 
the  more  he  had  ex- 

amined the  new  d^ 
velopments  the  more 
he  was  satisfied  that 
the  ore  could  not 
have  come  from  the 
Wide  West  vein. 
And  so  had  it  occurred  to  him  alone,  of  aU  the  camp,  that 
there  was  a  blind  lead  down  in  the  shaft,  and  that  even  the 
Wide  West  people  themselves  did  not  suspect  it.  He  was 
right.  When  he  went  down  the  shaft,,  he  found  that  Ihe 
blind  lead  held  its  independent  way  through  the  Wide  West 
vein,  cutting  it  diagonally,  and  that  it  was  enclosed  in  its  own 
well-defined  casing-rocks  and  clay.     Hence  it  was  public  prop- 


"UP    IN    A    BALLOON."— KICH    AT    LAST.  281 

erty.  Both  leads  being  perfectly  well  defined,  it  was  easy  for 
any  miner  to  see  which,  one  belonged  to  the  Wide  West  and 
which  did  not. 

"We  thought  it  well  to  have  a  strong  friend,  and  therefore 
we  brought  the  foreman  of  the  Wide  West  to  our  cabin  that 
night  and  revealed  the  great  surprise  to  him.     Higbie  said : 

"  We  are  going  to  take  possession  of  this  blind  lead,  record 
it  and  establish  ownership,  and  thein  forbid  the  Wide  West 
company  to  take  out  any  more  of  the  rock.  You  cannot  help 
your  company  in  this  matter — nobody  can  help  them.  I  will 
go  into  the  shaft  with  you  and  prove  to  your  entire  satisfaction 
that  it  is  a  blind  lead.  Now  we  propose  to  take  you  in  with 
us,  and  claim  the  blind  lead  in  our  three  names.  What  do 
you  say  ? " 

What  could  a  man  say  who  had  an  opportunity  to  simply 
stretch  forth  his  hand  and  take  possession  of  a  fortune  without 
risk  of  any  kind  and  without  wronging  any  one  or  attaching 
the  least  taint  of  dishonor  to  his  name  ?  He  could  only  say, 

The  notice  was  put  up  that  night,  and.  duly  spread  iipon 
the  recorder's  books  before  ten  o'clock.  We  claimed  two  hun- 
dred feet  each — six  hundred  feet  in  all — the  smallest  and  com- 
pactest  organization  in  the  district,  and  the  easiest  to  manage. 

No  one  can  be  so  thoughtless  as  to  suppose  that  we  slept,  that 
flight.  Higbie  and  I  went  to  bed  at  midnight,  but  it  was  only 
to  lie  broad  awake  and  think,  dream,  scheme.  The  floorless, 
tumble-down  cabin  was  a  palace,  the  ragged  gray  blankets  silk, 
the  furniture  rosewood  and  mahogany.  Each  new  splendor 
that  burst  out  of  my  visions  of  the  future  whirled  me  bodily 
over  in  bed  or  jerked  me  to  a  sitting  posture  just  as  if  an  elec- 
tric battery  had  been  applied  to  me.  We  shot  fragments  of 
conversation  back  and  forth  at  each  other.     Once  Higbie  said : 

"  When  are  you  going  home — to  the  States  ? " 

"  To-morrow ! " — with  an  evolution  or  two,  ending  with  a 
sitting  position.     "  Well — no — but  next  month,  at  furthest." 

"  We'll  go  in  the  same  steamer." 

"  Agreed." 

282  HOW    SHALL    WE    SPEND    OUE    MONET? 

A  pause. 

"Steamer  of  the.  10th?" 
"Tes;    ISTo,  the  1st." 
"All  right." 
Another  pause. 

"  Where  are  you  going  to. live?"  said  Higbie. 
"  San  Francisco." 
"  That's  me ! " 

"  Too  high — too  much  climbing  " — ^from  Higbie. 
"What  is?" 

"I  was  thinking  of  Russian  Hill — ^building  a  house  up 
.    "  Too  much  climbing  ?     Shan't  you  keep  a  carriage  ? " 
"  Of  course.     I  forgot  that." 
"  Cal.,  what  kind  of  a  house  are  you  going  to  build  ? " 


"  I  was  thinking  about  that.    Three-story  and  an  attic." 

" But -wh&t  kind?" 

"  Well,  I  don't  hardly  know.    Brick,  I  suppose." 

■WE    TIRE   OF   WEALTH  — AND   PLAY   CRIBBAGE.     283 

"Brick— bosh." 

"  "Why  ?     What  is  your  idea ? " 

"  Brown  stone  front — French  plate  glass — billiard-room  off 
the  dining-room — statuary  and  paintings — shrubbery  and  two- 
acre  grass  plat — greenhouse — iron  dog  on  the  front  stoop — 
gray  horses — ^landau,  and  a  coachman  with  a  bug  on  his  hat !  " 

"By  George!" 

A  long  pause. 

"  Cal.,  when  are  you  going  to  Europe  ? " 

"  "Well— I  hadn't  thought  of  that.     "When  are  you  ? " 

"  In  the  Spring." 

"  Going  to  be  gone  all  summer  ? " 

"  All  summer !     I  shall  remain  there  three  years." 

"  No — ^but  are  you  in  earnest  ? " 

"Indeed  I  am." 

"  I  will  go  along  too." 

"  "Why  of  course  you"  will." 

"  "What  part  of  Europe  shall  you  go  to  ? " 

"All  parts.  France,  England,  Germany — Spain,  Italy, 
Switzerland,  Syria,  Greece,  Palestine,  Arabia,  Persia,  Egypt — 
all  over — everywhere." 

"  I'm  agreed." 

"All  right." 

"  "Won't  it  be  a  swell  trip  I " 

"  "We'll  spend  forty  or  fifty  thousand  dollars  trying  to  make 
it  one,  anyway." 

Another  long  pause. 

"  Higbie,  we  owe  the  butcher  six  dollars,  and  he  has  been 
threatening  to  stop  our — " 

"  Hasng  the  butcher  1 " 
•    "  Amen." 

And  so  it  went  on.  By  three  o'clock  we  found  it  was  no 
use,  and  so  we  got  up  and  played  cribbage  and  smoked  pipes 
till  sunrise.  It  was  my  week  to  cook.  I  always  hated  cook- 
ing— ^now,  I  abhorred  it. 

The  news  was  all  over  town.  The  former  excitement  was 
great — this  one  was  greater  still.    I  walked  the  streets  serene 


and  happy.  Higbie  said  the  foreman  had  been  offered  two 
hundred  thousand  dollars  for  his  third  of  the  mine.  I  said  I 
would  like  to  see  myself  selling  for  any  such  price.  My  ideas 
were  lofty.  My  figure  was  a  million.  Still,  I  honestly  believe 
that  if  I  had  been  offered  it,  it  would  have  had  no  other  effect 
than  to  make  me  hold  off  for  more. 

I  found  abundant  enjoyment  in  being  rich.  A  man  offered 
me  a  three-hundred-dollar  horse,  and  wanted  to  take  my  sim- 
ple, unendorsed  note  for  it.  That  brought  the  most  realizing 
sense  I  had  yet  had  that  I  was  actually  rich,  beyond  shadow 
of  doubt.  It  was  followed  by  numerous  other  evidences  of  a 
similar  nature — among  which  I  may  mention  the  fact  of  the 
butcher  leaving  us  a  double  supply  of  meat  and  saying  nothing 
about  money. 

By  the  laws  of  the  district,  the  "  locators  "  or  claimants  of 
a  ledge  were  obliged  to  do  a  fair  and  reasonable  amount  of 
work  on  their  new  property  within  ten  days  after  the  date  of 
the  location,  or  the  property  was  forfeited,  and  anybody  coiild 
go  and  seize  it  that  chose.  So  we  determined  to  go  to  work 
the  next  day.  About  the  middle  of  the  afternoon,  as  I  was 
coming  out  of  the  post  office,  I  met  a  Mr.  Gardiner,  who  told 
me  that  Capt.  John  N  ye  was  lying  dangerously  ill  at  his  place 
(the  "  Nine-Mile  Ranch  "),  and  that  he  and  his  wife  were  not 
able  to  give  him  nearly  as  much  care  and  attention  as  his  case 
demanded.  I  said  it  he  would  wait  for  me  a  moment,  I  would 
go  down  and  help  in  the  sick  room.  I  ran  to  the  cabin  to  tell 
Higbie.  He  was  not  there,  but  I  left  a  note  on  the  table  for 
him,  and  a  few  minutes  later  I  left  town  in  Gardiner's  wagon. 


CAPTAIN  NYE  was  very  ill  indeed,  with  spasmodic 
rheumatism.  But  the  old  gentleman  was  himself — 
which  is  to  say,  he  was  kind-hearted  and  agreeable  when  com- 
fortable, but  a  singularly  violent  wild-eat  when  things  did  not 
go  well.  He  would  be  smiling  along  pleasantly  enough,  when 
a  sudden  spasm  of  his  disease  would  take  him  and  he  would 
go  out  of  his  smile  into  a  perfect  fury.  He  would  groan  and 
wail  and  howl  with  the  anguish,  and  fill  up  the  odd  chinks 
with  the  most  elaborate  profanity  that  strong  convictions  and 
a  fine  fancy  could  contrive.  With  fair  opportunity  he  could 
swear  very  well  and  handle  his  adjectives  with  considerable 
judgment ;  but  when  the  spasm  was  on  him  it  was  painful  to 
listen  to  him,  he  was  so  awkward.  However,  I  had  seen  him 
nurse  a  sick  man  himself  and  put  up  patiently  with  the  incon- 
veniences of  the  situation,  and  consequently  I  was  willing  that 
he  should  have  full  license  now  that  his  own  turn  had  come. 
He  could  not  disturb  me,  with  aU  his  raving  and  ranting,  for 
my  mind  had  work  on  hand,  and  it  labored  on  diligently, 
night  anfi  day,  whether  my  hands  were  idle  or  employed.  I 
was  altering  and  amending  the  plans  for  my  house,  and  think- 
ing over  the  propriety  of  having  the  billiard-room  in  the  attic, 
instead  of  on  the  same  floor  with  the  dining-room ;  also,  I  was 
trying  to  decide  between  green  and  blue  for  the  upholstery  of 
the  drawing-room,  for,  although  my  preference  was  blue  I 
feared  it  was  a  color  that  would  be  too  easily  damaged  by  dust 
and  sunlight ;  likewise  while  I  was  content  to  put  the  coach- 

286  DAT    DEEAM    OF    A    MILLIONAIRE 

man  in  a  modest  livery,  I  was  tmeertain  about  a  footman — I 
needed  one,  and  was  even  resolved  to  have  one,  but  wished  he 
could  properly  appear  and  perform  his  functions  out  of  livery, 
for  I  somewhat  dreaded  so  much  show ;  and  yBt,  inasmuch  as 
my  late  grandfather  had  had  a  coachman  and  such  things,  but 
no  liveries,  I  felt  rather  drawn  to  beat  him ; — or  beat  his  ghost, 
at  any  rate ;  I  was  also  systematizing  the  European  trip,  and 
managed  to  get  it  all  laid  out,  as  to  route  and  length  of  time 
to  be  devoted  to  it — everything,  with  one  exception — ^namely, 
whether  to  cross  the  desert  from  Cairo  to  Jerusalem  per  camel, 
or  go  by  sea  to  Beirut,  and  thence  down  through  the  country 
per  caravan.  Meantime  I  was  writing  to  the  friends  at  home 
every  day,  instructing  them  concerning  all  my  plans  and  in- 
tentions, and  directing  them  to  look  up  a  handsome  homestead 
for  my  mother  and  agree  upon  a  price  for  it  against  my  com- 
ing, and  also  directing  them  to  sell  my  share  of  the  Tennessee 
land  and  tender  the  proceeds  to  the  widows'  and  orphans' 
fund  of  the  typographical  union  of  which  I  had  long  been  a 
member  in  good  standing.  [This  Tennessee  land  had  been  in 
the  possession  of  the  family  many  years,  and  promised  to  con- 
fer high  fortune  upon  us  some  day ;  it  still  promises  it,  but  in 
a  less  violent  way.] 

When  I  had  been  nursing  the  Captain  nine  days  he  was 
somewhat  better,  but  very  feeble.  During  the  afternoon  we 
lifted  him  into  a  chair  and  gave  him  an  alcoholic  vapor  bath, 
and  then  set  about  putting  him  on  the  bed  again.  "We  had 
to  be  exceedingly  careful,  for  the  least  jar  produced  pain. 
Gardiner  had  his  shoulders  and  I  his  legs ;  in  an  unfortunate 
moment  I  stumbled  and  the  patient  fell  heavily  on  the  bed  in 
an  agony  of  torture.  I  never  heard  a  man  swear  so  in  my  life. 
He  raved  like  a  maniac,  and  tried  to  snatch  a  revolver  from 
the  table — ^but  I  got  it.  He  ordered  me  out  of  the  house,  and 
swore  a  world  of  oaths  that  he  would  kill  me  wherever  he 
caught  me  when  he  got  on  his  feet  again.  It  was  simply  a 
passing  fury,  and  meant  nothing.  I  knew  he  would  forget  it  in 
an  hour,  and  maybe  be  sorry  for  it,  too ;  but  it  angered  me  a 
little,  at  the  moment.    So  much  so,  indeed,  that  I  determined 



to  go  back  to  Esmeralda.  I  thought  he  was  able  to  get  along 
alone,  now,  since  he  was  on  the  war  path.  I  took  supper,  and 
as  soon  as  the  moon  rose,  began  my  nine-mile  journey,  on  foot. 

Even  millionaires  needed  no  horses,  in  those  days,  for  a  mere 
nine-mile  jaimt  without  baggage. 

As  I  "raised  the  hill"  overlooking  the  town,  it  lacked 
fifteen  minutes  of  twelve.  I  glanced  at  the  hill  over  beyond 
the  canyon,  and  in  the  bright  moonlight  saw  what  appeared 
to  be  about  half  the  population  of  the  village  massed  on  and 
around  the  Wide  West  croppings.  My  heart  gave  an  exulting 
bound,  and  I  said  to  myself,  "  They  have  made  a  new  strike 
to-night — and  struck  it  richer  than  ever,  no  doubt."  I  started 
over  there,  but  gave  it  up.  I  said  the  "  strike  "  wpuld  keep, 
and  I  had  climbed  hills  enough  for  one  night.  I  went  on 
down  through  the  town,  and  as  I  was  passing  a  little  German 
bakery,  a  woman  ran  out  and  begged  me  to  come  in  and  help 
her.  She  said  her  husband  had  a  fit.  I  went  in,  and  judged 
she  was  right — he  appeared  to  have  a  hundred  of  them,  com- 
pressed into  one.  Two  Germans  were  there,  trying  to  hold 
him,  and  not  making  much  of  a  success  of  it.     I  ran  up  the 



street  half  a  block  or  so  and  routed  out  a  sleeping  doctor, 
brought  bun  down  half  dressed,  and  we  four  wrestled  with 
the  maniac,  and  doctored,  drenched  and  bled  him,  for  more 
than  an  hour,  and  the  poor  German  woman  did  the  crying. 
He  grew  quiet,  now,  and  the  doctor  and  I  withdrew  and  left 
him  to  his  friends. 

It  was  a  little  after  one  o'clock.  As  I  entered  the  cabin 
door,  tired  but  jolly,  the  dingy  light  of  a  tallow  candle  revealed 
Higbie,  sitting  by  the  pine  table  gazing  stupidly  at  my  note, 
which  he  held  in  his  fingers,  and  looking  pale,  old,  and  bag- 

gard.  I  halted,  and 
looked  at  him.  He 
looked  at  me,  stol- 
idly.    I  said : 

"Higbie,  what — 
what  is  it?" 

"We're  ruined — 
we    didn't    do   the 

work THE      BLIND 

lead's  eelocated  ! " 
It  was  enough.  I 
sat  down  sick, 
grieved —  broken- 
hearted,  indeed.  A 
minute  before,  I  was 
rich  and  brimful  of 
vanity ;  I  was  a  pau- 
per now,  and  very 
meek.     We  sat  still 

wo  ING. 

an  hour,  busy  with 
thought,  busy  with  vain  and  useless  self-upbraidings,  busy  with 
"Why  didn't  1  do  this,  and  why  didn't  I  do  that,"  but  neither 
spoke  a  word.  Then  we  dropped  into  mutiial  explanations,  and 
the  mystery  was  cleared  away.  It  came  out  that  Higbie  had 
depended  on  me,  as  I  had  on  him,  and  as  both  of  us  had  on 
the  foreman.  The  folly  of  it !  It  was  the  first  time  that  ever 
staid  and  steadfast  Higbie  had  left  -an  important  matter  to 
chance  or  failed  to  be  true  to  his  full  share  of  a  responsibility. 


But  he  had  never  seen  my  note  till  this  moment,  and  this 
moment  was  the  first  time  he  had  been  in  the  cabin 
since  the  day  he  had  seen  me  last.  He,  also,  had  left  a  note 
for  me,  on  that  same  fatal  afternoon — had  ridden  up  on  horse- 
back, and  looked  through  the  window,  and  being  in  a  hurry 
and  not  seeing  me,  had  tossed  the  note  into  the  cabin  through 
a  broken  pane.  Here  it  was,  on  the  floor,  where  it  had  re- 
mained imdisturbed  for  nine  days: 

"  Don't  fail  to  do  the  work  before  the  ten  days  expire.  W.  has  passed 
through  and  given  me  notice.  I  am  to  join  him  at  Mono  Lake,  and  we  shall 
go  on  from  there  to-night.    He  says  he  will  find  it  this  time,  sure.     Cal." 

"W."  meant  Whiteman,  of  course.  That  thrice  accursed 
"  cement ! " 

That  was  the  way  of  it.  An  old  miner,  like  Higbie,  could 
no  more  withstand  the  fascination  of  a  mysterious  mining 
excitement  like  this  "cement"  foolishness,  than  he  could  re- 
frain from  eating  when  he  was  famishing.  Higbie  had  been 
dreaming  about  the  marvelous  cement  for  months ;  and  now, 
against  his  better  judgment,  he  had  gone  off"  and  "  taken  the 
chances  "  on  my  keeping  secure  a  mine  worth  a  million  undis- 
covered cement  veins.  They  had  not  been  followed  this  time. 
His  riding  out  of  town  in  broad  daylight  was  such  a  common- 
place thing  to  do  that  it  had  not  attracted  any  attention.  He 
said  they  prosecuted  their  search  in  the  fastnesses  of  the 
mountains  during  nine  days,  without  success ;  they  could  not 
find  the  cement.  Then  a  ghastly  fear  came  over  him  that 
something  might  have  happened  to  prevent  the  doing  of  the 
necessary  work  to  hold  the  blind  lead  (though  indeed  lie 
thought  such  a  thing  hardly  possible),  and  forthwith  he  started 
home  with  all  speed.  He  would  have  reached  Esmeralda  in 
time,  but  his  horse  broke  down  and  he  had  to  walk  a  great 
part  of  the  distance.  And  so  it  happened  that  as  he  came 
into  Esmeralda  by  one  road,  I  entered  it  by  another.  His 
was  the  superior  energy,  however,  for  he  went  straight  to  the 
Wide  "West,  instead  of  turning  aside  as  I  had  done — and  he 
arrived  there  about  five  or  ten  minutes  too  late !  The  "  notice  " 



was  already  up,  the  "relocation"  of  our  mine  completed  be- 
yond recall,  and  the  crowd  rapidly  dispersing.  He  learned 
some  facts  before  he  left  the  ground.  The  foreman  had  not 
been  seen  about  the  streets  since  the  night  we  had  located  the 
mine — a  telegram  had  called  him  to  California  on  a  matter  of 
life  and  death,  it  was  said.  At  any  .rate  he  had  done  no  work 
and  the  w^atchful  eyes  of  the  community  were  taking  note  of 
the  fact.  At  midnight  of  this  woful  tenth  day,  the  ledge 
would  be  "relocatable,"  and  by  eleven  o'clock  the  hill  was 
blacl^:  with  men  prepared  to  do  the  relocating.  That  was  tlie 
crowd  I  had  seen  when  I  fancied  a  new  "  strike "  had  been 

-    ^-4    J'-     -^ 

a)  made — idiot  that  I  was. 
[We  three  had  the  same 
right  to  relocate  the  lead 
that  other  people  had, 
provided  we  were  quick 
enough.]  As  midnight 
was  announced,  fourteen 
men,  duly  armed  and  ready 
to  back  their  proceedings, 
put  up  their  "notice"  and  proclaimed  their  ownership  of  the 
blind  lead,  under  the  new  name  of  the  "Johnson."  But  A. 
D.  Allen  our  partner  (the  foreman)  put  in  a  sudden  appearance 
about  that  time,  with  a  cocked  revolver  in  his  hand,  and  said 
his  name  must  be  added  to  the  list,  or  he  would  "  thin  out  the 
Johnson  company  some."     lie  was  a  manly,  splendid,  de- 



termiried  fellow,  and  known  to  be  as  good  as  his  word,  and 
therefore  a  compromise  was  effected.  They  put  in  his  name 
for  a  hundred  feet,  reserving  to  themselves  the  customary  two 
hundred  feet  each.  Such  was  the  history  of  the  night's 
events,  as  Higbie  gathered  from  a  friend  on  the  way  home. 

Higbie  and  I  cleared  out  on  a  new  mining  excitement  the 
next  morning,  glad  to  get  away  from  the  scene  of  our  suffer- 
ings, and  after  a  month  or  two  of  hardship  and  disappoint- 
ment, returned  to  Esmeralda  once  more.  Then  -  we  leatned 
that  the  Wide  West  and  the  Johnson  companies  had  consoli- 
dated ;  that  the  stock,  thus  united,  comprised  five  thousand 
feet,  or  shares;  that  the  foreman,  apprehending  tiresome i liti- 
gation, and  considering  such  a  huge  concern  unwieldy,  had 
sold  his  hundred  feet  for  ninety  thousand  dollars  in  gold  and 
gone  home  to  the  States  to  enjoy  it.  If  the  stock  was  worth 
such  a  gallant  figure,  with  five  thousand  shares  in  the  corpora- 
tion, it  makes  me  dizzy  to  think  what  it  would  have  been 
worth  with .  only  our  original  six  hundred  ia  it.  It  was,  the 
difference  between  six  hundred  men  owning  a  house  and  five 
thousand  owning  it.  We  would  have  been  millionaires  if  we 
had  only  worked  with  pick  and  spade  one  little  day  on  our 
property  and  so  secured  our  ownership ! 

It  reads  like  a  wild  fancy  sketch,  but  the  evidence  of  many 
witnesses,  and  likewise  that  of  the  ofiicial  records  of  Esmei-alda 
District,  is  easily  obtainable  in  proof  that  it  is  a  true  history. 
I  can  always  have  it  to  say  that  I  was  absolutely  and  unqr'K' 
tionably  worth  a  million  dollars,  once,  for  ten  days. 

A  year  ago  my  esteemed  and  in  every  way  estimable  olc 
millionaire  partner,  Higbie,  wrote  me  from  an  obscui^e  little 
mining  camp  in  California  that  after  nine  or  ten  years  of  buf- 
fetings  and  hard  striving,  he  was  at  last  in  a  position  where 
he  could  command  twenty-five  hundred  dollars,  and  said  he 
meant  to  go  into  the  fruit  business  in  a  modest  way.  How 
such  a  thought  would  have  insulted  him  the  night  we  lay  in 
our  cabin  planning  European  trips  and  brown  stone  houses  on 
Bussian  Hill ! 


WHAT  to  do  next? 
It  was  a  momentous  question.  I  had  gon«>  out  into 
the  world  to  shift  for  myself,  at  the  age'  of  thirteen  (for  mj 
father  had  endorsed  for  friends ;  and  although  he  left  us  a 
sumptuous  legacy  of  pride  in  his  fine  Virginian  stock  and  its 
national  distinction,  I  presently  found  that  I  could  not  live  on 
that  alone  without  occasional  bread  to  wash  it  down  with).  I 
had  gained  a  livelihood  in  various  vocations,  but  had  not 
dazzled  anybody  with  my  successes ;  still  the  list  was  before  me, 
and  the  amplest  liberty  in  the  matter  of  choosing,  provided  I 
wanted  to  work — which  I  did  not,  after  being  so  wealthy.  I 
had  once  been  a  grocery  clerk,  for  one  day,  but  had  consumed 
so  much  sugar  in  that  time  that  I  was  relieved  from  further 
duty  by  the  proprietor ;  said  he  wanted  me  outside,  so  that  he 
could  have  my  custom.  I  had  studied  law  an  entire  week, 
and  then  given  it  up  because  it  was  so  prosy  and  tiresome.  I 
had  engaged  briefly  in  the  study  of  blaeksmithing,  but  wasted 
so  much  time  trying  to  fix  the  bellows  so  that  it  would  blow 
itself,  that  the  master  turned  me  adrift  in  disgrace,  and  told 
me  I  would  come  to  no  good.  I  had  been  a  bookseller's  clerk 
for  awhile,  but  the  customers  bothered  me  so  much  I  could 
not  read  with  any  comfort,  and  so  the  proprietor  gave  me  a 
furlough  and  forgot  to  put  a  limit  to  it.  I  had  clerked  in  a 
dmg  store  part  of  a  summer,  but  my  prescriptions  were  un- 
lucky, and  we  appeared  to  sell  more  stomach  pumps  than  soda 
water.  So  I  had  to  go.  I  had  made  of  myself  a  tolerable 
printer,  under  the  impression  that  I  would  be  another  Frank- 




lin  some  day,  but  somehow  had  missed  the  connection  thus  far. 
There  was  no  berth  open  in  the  Esmeralda  Union,  and  besides 
I  had  always  been 
such  a  slow  compos- 
itor that  I  looked 
with  envy  upon  the 
achievements  of  ap- 
prentices of  two 
years'  standing ;  and 
when  I  took  a  i 
"take,"  foremen  I 
were  in  the  habit 
of  suggesting  that 
it  would  be  wanted 
"some  time  during 
the  year."  I  was  a 
good  average  St. 
Louis  and  New 
Orleans  pilot  and  by 
no  means  ashamed  of  my  abilities  in  that  line ;  wages  were 
two  himdred  and  fifty  dollars  a  month  and  no  board  to  pay, 
and  I  did  long  to  stand  behind  a  wheel  again  and  never  roam 
any  more — ^but  I  had  been  making  such  an  ass  of  mj'self  lately 
in  grandiloquent  letters  home  about  my  blind  lead  and  my 
European  excursion  that  I  did  what  many  and  many  a  poor 
disappointed  miner  had  done  before ;  said  "  It  is  all  over  with 
me  now,  and  I  will  never  go  back  home  to  be  pitied — and 
snubbed."  I  had  been  a  private  secretary,  a  silver  miner  and 
a  silver  mill  operative,  and  amounted  to  less  than  nothing  in 
each,  and  now — 

What  to  do  next  ?  ' 

I  yielded  to  Higbie's  appeals  and  consented  to  try  the 
mining  once  more.  "We  climbed  far  up  on  the  mountain  side 
and  went  to  work  on  a  little  rubbishy  claim  of  ours  that  had  a 
shaft  on  it  eight  feet  deep.  Higbie  descended  into  it  and 
worked  bravely  with  his  pick  till  he  had  loosened  up  a  deal 
of  rock  and  dirt  and  then  I  went  down  with  a  long-handled 


I    TRY    A    NEW    PATH. 

shovel  (the  most  awkward  invention  yet  contrived  by  man)  to 
throw  it  put.  You  must  brace  the  shovel  forward  with  the 
side  of  your  knee  till  it  is  full,  and  then,  with  a  skilful  toss, 
throw  it  backward  over  your  left  shoulder.  I  made  the  toss 
and  landed  the  mess  just  on  the  edge  of  the  shaft  and  it  all 
came  back  on  my  head  and  down  the  back  of  my  neck.    I 

never  said  a  word,  but 
climbed  out  and  walked 
home.  I  inwardly  resolved 
that  I  would  starve  before  I 
would  make  a  target  of  my- 
self and  shoot  rubbish  at  it 
with  a  long-handled  shovel. 
I  sat  down,  in  the  cabin, 
and  gave  myself  up  to  'solid 
misery — so  to  speak.  Now 
in  pleasanter  days  I  had 
amused  myself  with  writing 
letters  to  the  chief  paper  of 
the  Territory,  the  Yirginia 
Daily  Territorial  Enter- 
5«^^^^i  prise,  and  had  always  been 
surprised  when  they  ap- 
peared in  print.  My  good 
opinion  of  the  editors  had 
steadily  declined;  for  it 
seemed  to  me  that' they  might  have  found  something  better  to 
fill  lip  with  than  my  literature.  I  had  found  a  letter  in  the 
post  office  as  I  came  home  from  the  hill  side,  and  finally  I 
opened  it.  Eureka !  [I  never  did  know  what  Eureka  meant, 
but  it  seems  to  be  as  proper  a  word  to  heave  in  as  any  when 
no  other  that  sounds  pretty  offers.].  It  was  a  deliberate  offer 
to  me  of  Twenty-Five  Dollars  a  week  to  come  up  to  Virginia 
and  be  city  editor  of  the  Enterprise. 

I  would  have  challenged  the  publisher  in  the  "blind  lead  " 
days— I  wanted  to  fall  down  and  worship  him,  now.  Twenty- 
Five  Dollars  a  week — ^it  looked  like  bloated  luxury — ^a  fortune 
»;— a  sinful  and  lavish  waste  of  money.    But  my  transports 




copied  when  I  thought  of  my  inexperience  and  consequent 
unfitness  for  the  position — and  straightway,  on  top  of  this,  my 
long  array  of  failures  rose  up  before  me.  Yet  if  I  refused 
this  place  I  must  presently  become  dependent  upon  somebody 
for  my  bread,  a  thing  necessarily  distasteful  to  A  man  who  had 
never  experienced  such  a  humiliation  since  he  was  thirteen 
years  old.  Not  much  to  be  proud  of,  since  it  is  so  common 
— ^but  then  it  was  all  I  had  to  be  proud  of.  So  I  was  scared 
into  being  a  city  editor.  I  would  have  declined,  otherwise. 
Necessity  is  the  mother  of  "  taking  chances."  I  do  not  doubt 
that  if,  at  that  tir&e,  I  had  been  offered  a  salary  to  translate 
the  Talmud  from  the  original  Hebrew,  I  would  have  accepted 
— albeit  with  diffidence  and  some  misgivings— and  thrown  as 
much  variety  into  it  as  I  could  for  the  money. 

I  went  up  to  Virginia  and  entered  upon  my  new  vocation. 
I  was  a  rusty  looking  city  editor,  I  am  free  to  confess — coat- 
less,  slouch  hat,  blue  woolen  shirt,  pantaloons  stuffed  into, 
boot-tops,  whiskered  half 
down  to  the  waist,  and  the 
universal  navy  revolver  slung 
to  my  belt.  But  I  secured  a 
more  Christian  costume  and 
discarded  the  revolver.  I  had 
never  had  occasion  to  kill 
anybody,  nor  ever  felt  a 
desire  to  do  so,  but  had  worn 
the  thing  in  deference  to 
popular  sentiment,  and  in 
order  that  I  might  not,  by  its 
absence,  be  offensively  con- 
spicuous, and  a  subject  of 
remark.  But  the  other  edi- 
tors, and  all  the  printers, 
carried  revolvers.  I  asked 
the  chief  editor  and  proprietor  (Mr.  Goodman,  I  will  call  him, 
since  it  describes  him  as  well  as  any  name  could"  do))&i5-  some 
instructions  with  regard  to  my  duties,..and  he  told  me  togoialL 



MT    riKST    EFFORT. 

over  town  and  ask  all  sorts  of  people  all  sorts  of  questions, ' 
make  notes  of  the  information  gained,  and  write  them  out  for 
publication.     And  he  added  : 

"  Never  say  '  We  learn '  so-and-so,  or  '  It  is  reported,  or  '  It 
is  rumored,'  or  'We  understand'  so-and-so,  but  go  to  head- 
quarters and  get  the  absolute  facts,  and  then  speak  out  and  say 
'  It  is  so-and-so.'  Otherwise,  people  will  not  put  confidence  in 
your  news.  Unassailable  certainty  is  the  thing  that  gives  a 
newspaper  the  firmest  and  most  valuable  reputation." 

It  was  the  whole  thing  in  a  nut-shell ;  and  to  this  day 
when  I  find  a  reporter  commencing  his  article  with  "We 
understand,"  I  gather  a  suspicion  that  he  has  not  taken  as 
much  pains  to  inform  himself  as  he  ought  to  have  done.  I 
moralize  well,  but  I  did  not  always  practise  well  when  I  was  a 
city  editor ;  I  let  fancy  get  the  upper  hand  of  fact  too  often 
when  there  was  a  dearth  of- news.  I  can  never  forget  my  first 
(day's  experience  as  a  reporter.  I  wandered  about  town 
(questioning  everybody,  boring  everybody,  and  finding  out  that 
.nobody  knew  anything.  At  the  end  of  five  hours  my  note- 
book was  still  barren.     I  spoke  to  Mr.  Goodman.    He  said : 

-<'  Dan  used  to  make  a  good  thing  out  of  the  hay  wagons  in 
iS  dry \time  when  there  were  no  fires  or  inquests.  Are  there 
no  hay  wagons  in  from  the  Truckee?     If  there  are,  you  might 

speak  of  the  re- 
newed activity  and 
all  that  sort  of  thing, 
in  the  hay  business, 
you  know.  It  isn't 
sensational  or  ex- 
citing, but  it  fills  up 
and  looks  business 

I  canvassed  the 
city  again  and  found 
one  wretched  old 
hay  truck  dragging  in  from  the  country.  But  I  made  affluent 
use  of  it.      I  multiplied  it  by  sixteen,  brought  it  into  town 


"AN    ILL    WIND    THAT    BLOWS    NO    GOOD." 


from  sixteen  different  directions,  made  sixteen  separate  items 
out  of  it,  and  got  tip  such  another  sweat  about  hay  as  Virginia 
City  had  never  seen  in  the  world  before. 

This  was  encouraging.  Two  nonpareil  columns  had  to  be 
filled,  and  I  was  getting  along.  Presently,  when  things  began 
to  look  dismal  again,  a  desperado  killed  a  man  in  a  saloon  and 
joy  returned  once  more.  I  never  was  so  glad  over  any  mere 
trifle  before  in  my  life.     I  said  to  the  murderer : 

"  Sir,  you  are  a  stranger  to  me,  but  you  have  done  me  a 
kindness  this  day  which  I  can  never  forget.  If  whole  years 
of  gratitude  can  be  to  you  any  slight  compensation,  they  shall 
be  yours.  I  was  in  trouble  and  you  have  relieved  me  nobly 
and  at  a  time  when  all 
seemed  dark  and  drear. 
Count  me  your  friend  from 
this  time  forth,  for  I  am 
not  a  man  to  forget  a  favor." 
'  If  I  did  not  really  say 
that  to  him  I  at  least  felt  a 
sort  of  itching  desire  to  do 
it.  I  wrote  up  the  murder 
with  a  hungry  attention  to 
details,  and  when  it  was 
finished  experienced  but  one 
regret — ^namely,  that  they 
had  not  hanged  my  bene- 
factor on  the  spot,  so  that 
I  could  work  him  up  too. 

Next  I  discovered  some 
emigrant  wagons  going  into 
camp  on  the  plaza  and  found 
that  they  had  lately  come 
through  the  hostile  Indian  country  and  had  fared  rather 
roughly.  I  made  the  best  of  the  item  that  the  circumstances 
permitted,  and  felt  that  if  I  were  not  confined  within  'rigid 
limits  by  the  presence  of  the  reporters  of  the  other  papers  I 
could  add  particulars  that  would  make  the  article  much  more 




interesting.  However,  I  found  one  wagon  that  was  going  on 
to  California,  and  made  some  judicious  inquiries  of  the  pro- 
prietor. When  I  learned,  through  his  short  and  surly  answers 
to  my  cross-questioning,  that  he  was  certainly  going  on  and 
would  not  be  in  the  city  next  day  to  make  trouble,  I  got 
ahead  of  the  other  papers,  for  I  took  down  his  list  of  names 
and  added  his  party  to  the  killed  and  wounded.  Having 
more  scope  here,  I  put  this  wagon  through  an  Indian  fight 
that  to  this  day  has  no  parallel  in  history. 

My  two  columns  were  filled.  When  I  read  them  over  in 
the  morning  I  felt  that  I  had  found  my  legitimate  occupation 
at  last.  I  reasoned  within  myself  that  news,  and  stirring  news, 
too,  was  what  a  paper  needed,  and  I  felt  that  I  was  peculiarly 
endowed  with  the  ability  to  fuhiish  it.  Mr.  Goodman  said 
that  I  was  as  good  a  reporter  as  Dan.  I  desired  no  higher 
commendation.  With  encouragement  like  that,  I  felt  that  I 
could  take  my  pen  and  murder  all  the  immigrants  on  the 
plains  if  need  be  and  the  interests  of  the  paper  demanded  it. 


HOWEYER,  as  I  grew  better  acquainted  with  the  business 
and  learned  the  run  of  the  sources  of  information  I 
ceased  to  require  the  aid  of  fancy  to  any  large  extent,  and 
became  able  to  fill  my  columns  without  diverging  noticeably 
from  the  domain  of  fact. 

I  struck  up  friendships  with  the  reporters  of  the  other 
journals,  and  we  swapped  "regulars"  with  each  other  and 
thus  economized  work.  "  Kegulars  "  are  permanent  sources  of 
news,  like  courts,  bullion  returns,  "  clean-ups "  at  the  quartz 
mills,  and  inquests.  Inasmuch  as  everybody  went  armed,  we 
had  an  inquest  about  every  day,  and  so  this  department 
was  naturally  set  down  among  the  "  regulars."  We  had 
lively  papers  in  those  days.  My  great  competitor  among  the 
reporters  was  Boggs  of  the  Union.  He  was  an  excellent 
reporter.  Once  in  three  or  four  months  he  would  get  a  little 
intoxicated,  but  as  a  general  thing  he  was  a  wary  and  cautious 
drinker  although  always  ready  to  tamper  a  little  with  the  enemy. 
He  had  the  advantage  of  me  in  one  thing ;  he  could  get  the 
monthly  public  school  report  and  I  could  not,  because  the 
principal  hated  the  Enterprise.  One  snowy  night  when  the 
report  was  due,  I  started  out  sadly  wondering  how  I  was  going 
to  get  it.  Presently,  a  few  steps  up  the  almost  deserted  street 
I  stumbled  on  Boggs  and  asked  him  where  he  was  going. 

"  After  the  school  report." 

"  I'll  go  along  with  you." 

"  No,  sir.    I'll  excuse  you." 

"  Just  as  you  say." 

A  saloon-keeper's  boy  passed  by  with  a  steaming  pitcher 

300       THE    "UNION"    GOT    NO    REPORT— WE    DID. 

of  hot  punch,  and  Boggs  snuffed  the  fragrance  gratefully.  He 
gazed  fondly  after  the  boy  and  saw  him  start  up  the  Enter- 
prise stairs.     I  said : 

'  "  I  wish  you  could  help  me  get  that  school  business,  but 
since  you  can't,  I  must  run  up  to  the  Union,  office  and  see  if  I 
can  get  them  to  let  me  have  a  proof  of  it  after  they  have  set  it 
up,  though  I  don't  begin  to  suppose  they  will.     Good  night." 

"  Hold  on  a  minute.     I  don't  mind  getting  the  report  and . 
^  sitting  around  with  the  boys  a  little,  while  you  copy  it,  il'  you're 
willing  to  drop  down  to  the  principal's  with  me." 

"  Now  you  talk  like  a  rational  being.     Come  along." 

We  plowed  a  couple  of  blocks  through  the  snow,  got  the 
report  and  returned  to  our  office.  It  was  a  short  document  and 
soon  copied.  Meantime  Boggs  helped  himself  to  the  punch. 
I  gave  the  manuscript  back  to  him  and  we  started  out  to  get 
an  inquest,  for  we  heard  pistol  shots  near  by.  We  got  the  par- 
ticulars with  little  loss  of  time,  for  it  was  only  an  inferior  sort  of 
bar-room  murder,  and  of  little  interest  to  the  public,  and  then 
we  separated.  Away  at  three  o'clock  in  the  morning,  when 
we  had  gone  to  press  and  were  having  a  relaxing  concert  as 
usual — ^for  some  of  the  printers  were  good  singers  and  others 
good  performers  on  the  guitar  and  on  that  atrocity  the  accor- 
deon — the  proprietor  of  the  Union  strode  in  and  desired  to 
know  if  anybody  had  heard  anything  of  Boggs  x»r  the  school 
report.  We  stated  the  case,  and  all  turned  out  to  help  hunt 
for  the  delinquent.  We  found  him  standing  on  a  table  in 
a  saloon,  with  an  old  tin  lantern  in  •  one  hand  and  the 
school  report  in  the  other,  haranguing  a  gang  of  intoxicated 
Cornish  miners  on  the  iniquity  of  squandering  the  public 
moneys  on  education  "  when  hundreds  and  hundreds  of  honest 
hard-working  men  are  literally  starving  for  whiskey."  [Kiotous 
applause.]  He  had  been  assisting  in  a  regal  spree  with  those 
parties  for  hours.     We  dragged  him  away  and  put  him  to  bed. 

Of  course  there  was  no  school  report  in  the  Un ion,  and 
Boggs  held  me  accountable,  though  I  was  innocent  of  any  in- 
tention or  desire  to  compass  its  absence  from  that  paper  and 
was  as  sorry  as  any  one  that  the  misfortune  had  occurred. 



But  we  were  perfectly  friendly.     The  day  that  the  school 
report  was  next  due,  the  proprietor  of  the  "  Genessee  "  mine 



furnished  us  a  buggy  and  askdd  us  to  go  down  and  write  some- 
thing about  the  property — a  Tery  common  request  and  one 
always  gladly  acceded  to  when  people  furnished  bnggieSj  for 
we  were  as  fond  of  pleasure  excursions  as  other  people.  In  due 
time  we  arrived  at  the  "mine" — ^nothing  but  a  hole  in  the 
ground  ninety  feet  deep,  and  no  way  of  getting  down  into  it 
but  by  holding  on  to  a  rope  and  being  lowered  with  a  windlass. 
The  workmen  had  just  gone  off  somewhere  to  dinner.  I  was 
not  strong  enough  to  lower  Boggs's  bulk;  so  I  took  an  un- 
lighted  candle  in  my  teeth,  made  a  loop  for  my  foot  in  the 
end  of  the  rope,  implored  Boggs  not  to  go  to  sleep  or  let  the 
windlass  get  the  start  of  him,  and  then  swung  out  over  the 
shaft.  I  reached  the  bottom  muddy  and  bruised  about  the 
elbows,  but  safe.  I  lit  the  candle,  made  an  examination  of 
the  rock,  selected  some  specimens  and  shouted  to  Boggs  to 

302      7HE    "UNION"    GETS    A   REPORT— WE    DON'T. 

boist  away,    No  answer.    Presently  a  Iiead  appeared  in  the 
circle  of  daylight  away  aloft,  and  a  voice  came  down : 

"  Are  you  all  set  ? " 
"  All  set — ^hoist  away." 
"  Are   you    comforta- 

"  Perfectly," 
"  Could  you  wait  a  lit- 

"Oh  certainly — ^no 
particular  hurry." 
"WeU— goodby." 
"Why?     Where   are 
you  going  ? " 

"After  the  school  re- 
port ! " 

And  he  did.  I  staid 
down  there  an  hour,  and 
surprised  the  workmen 
when  they  hauled  up  and 
found  a  man  on  the  rope 
instead  of  a  bucket  of  rock., 
I  walked  home,  too — ^five 
miles — ^up  hill.  We  had 
no  school  report  next  morn- 
ing ;  but  the  Union  had. 

Six  months  after  my 
entry  into  journalism  the 
grand  "flush  times"  of 
Silverland  began,  and  they 
continued  with  unabated 
splendor  for  three  years.  All  difficulty  about  filling  up  the 
"  local  department "  ceased,  and  the  only  trouble  now  was  how 
to  make  the  lengthened  columns  hold  the  world  of  incidents 
and  happenings  that  came  to  our  literary  net  every  day.  Yir- 
ginia  had  grown  to  be  the  "  livest "  town,  for  its  age  and  popu- 
lation, that  America  had  ever  produced.      The   sidewalks 



swarmed  with  people — to  such  an  extent,  indeed,  that  it  was 
generally  no  easy  matter  to  stem  the  human  tide.  The  streets 
themselves  were  just  as  crowded  with  quartz  wagons,  freight 
teams  and  other  vehicles.  The  procession  was  endless.  So 
great  was  the  pack,  that  buggies  frequently  had  to  wait  half 
an  hour  for  an  opportunity  to  cross  the  principal  street.  Joy 
sat  on  every  countenance,  and  there  was  a  glad,  almost  fierce, 
intensity  in  every  eye,  tliat  told  of  the  moneyrgetting  schemes 
that  were  seething  in  every  brain  and  the  high  hope  that  held 
sway  in  every  heart.  Money  was  as  plenty  as  dust;  every 
individual  considered  himself  wealthy,  and  a  melancholy  coun- 
tenance was  nowhere  to  be  seen.  There  were  military  com- 
panies, fire  companies,  brass  bands,  banks,  hotels,  theatres, 
"  hurdy-gurdy  houses,"  ivide-open  gambling  palaces,  political 
pow-wows,  civic  processions,  street  fights,  murders,  inquests, 
riots,  a  whiskey  mill  every  fifteen  steps,  a  Board  of  Aldermen, 
a  Mayor,  a  City  Surveyor,  a  City  Engineer,  a  Chief  of  the 
Fire  Department,  with  First,  Second  and  Third  Assistants, 
a  Chief  of  Police,  City  Marshal  and  a  large  police  force,  two 
Boards  of  Mining  Brokers,  a  dozen  breweries  and  half  a 
dozen  jails  and  station-houses  in  full  operation,  and  some  talk 
of  building  a  church.  The  "  flush  times  "  were  in  magnificent 
fiower!  Large  fire-proof  brick  buildings  were  going  up  in 
the  principal  streets,  and  the  wooden  suburbs  were  spreading- 
out  in  all  directions.  Town  lots  soared  up  to  prices  that  were 

The  great  "  Comstock  lode "  stretched  its  opulent  length 
straight  through  the  town  fi-om  north  to  south,  and  every  mine 
on  it  was  in  diligent  process  of  development.  One  of  these 
mines  alone  employed  six  hundred  and  seventy-five  men,  and 
in  the  matter  of  elections  the  adage  was,  "  as  the  '  Gould  and 
Curry '  goes,  so  goes  the  city."  Laboring  men's  wages  were 
four  and  six  dollars  a  day,  and  they  worked  in  three  "shifts" 
or  gangs,  and  the  blasting  and  picking  and  shoveling  went  on 
without  ceasing,  night  and  day. 

The  "  city  "  of  Virginia  roosted  royally  midway  up  the 
steep  side  of  Mount  Davidson,  seven  thousand  two  hundred 



feet  above  the  level 
of  the  sea,  and  in  the 
clear  Nevada   atmo- 
sphere   was  .  visible 
from  a  distance  of 
fifty    miles!      It 
claimed  a  population 
of   fifteen   thousand 
to  eighteen  thousand, 
and  all  day  long  half 
of  this   little    army 
.    swarmed  the  streets 
S    like'  bees    and    the 
I    other  half  swanned 
^    among  the  drifts  and 

S  tunnels  of  the  "  Com- 

s  stock,"  hundreds  of 

I  feet    down    in    the 

^  earth  directly  under 

i'    o  those    same   streets. 

P  Often   we    felt    our 

0  chairs  jar,  and  heard 

1  the  faint  boom  of  a 
a  blast  down  in  the 
s  bowels  of  the  earth 

S    under  the  office. 


«  The     mountain 

side  was  so  steep  that 
the  entire  town  had  a 
slant  to  it  like  a  roof. 
Each  street  was  a  ter- 
race, and  from  each 
to  the  next  street  be- 
low the  descent  was 
forty  or  fifty  feet. 
The  fronts  of  the 
houses  were  level 
with  the  street  they 


faced,  but  their  rear  first  floors  were  propped  on  lofty  stilts ;  a 
man  could  stand  at  a  rear  first  floor  window  of  a  C  street 
house  and  look  down  the  chimneys  of  the  row  of  houses 
below  him  facing  D  street.  It  was  a  laborious  climb,  in  that 
thin  atmosphere,  to  ascend  from  D  to  A  street,  and  you  were 
panting  and  out  of  breath  when  you  got  there ;  but  you  could 
turn  around  and  go  down  again  like  a  house  a-fire — so  to 
speak.  The  atmosphere  was  so  rarified,  on  account  of  the 
great  altitude,  that  one's  blood  lay  near  the  surface  always, 
and  the  scratch  of  a  pin  was  a  disaster  worth  worrying  about, 
for  the  chances  were  that  a  grievous  erysipelas  would  ensue. 
But  to  offset  this,  the  thin  atmosphere  seemed  to  carry  heal- 
ing to  gunshot  wounds,  and  therefore,  to  simply  shoot  your 
adversary  through  both  lungs  was  a  thing  not  likely  to  afford 
you  any  permanent  satisfection,  for  he  would  be  nearly  certain 
to  be  around  looking  for  you  within  the  month,  and  not  with 
an  opera  glass,  either. 

From  Virginia's  airy  situation  one  could  look  over  a  vast, 
far-reaching  panorama  of  mountain  ranges  and  deserts ;  and 
whether  the  day  was  bright  or  overcast,  whether  the  sun  was 
rising  or  setting,  or  flaming  id  the  zenith,  or  whether  night  and 
the  moon  held  sway,  the  spectacle  was  always  impressive  and 
beautiful.  Over  your  head  Mount  Davidson  lifted  its  gray 
dome,  and  before  and  below  you  a  rugged  canyon  clove  the 
battlemented  hills,  making  a  sombre  gateway  through  which  a 
soft-tinted  desert  was  glimpsed,  with  the  silver  thread  of  a  river 
winding  through  it,  bordered  with  trees  which  many  miles  of 
distance  diminished  to  a  delicate  fringe ;  and  still  further  away 
the  snowy  mountains  rose  up  and  stretched  their  long  barrier 
to  the  filni!y  torizon — far  enough  beyond  a  lake  that  burned 
in  the  desert  like  a  fallen  sun,  though  that,  itself,  lay  fifty 
miles  removed.  Look  from  your  window  where  you  would, 
.there  was  fascination  in  the  picture.  At  rare  intervals — but 
very  rare — ^there  were  clouds  in  our, skies,  and  then  the  setting 
sun  would  gild  and  flush  and  glorify  this  mighty  expanse  ol 
scenery  with  a  bewildering  pomp  of  color  that  held  the  eye 
like  a  spell  and  moved  the  spirit  like  music. 


MY  salary  was  increased  to  forty  dollars  a  week.  But  I 
seldom  drew  it.  I  had  plenty  of  other  resources,  and 
what  were  two  broad  twenty-dollar  gold  pieces  to  a  man  who 
had  his  pockets  full  of  such  and  a  cumbersome  abundance  of 
bright  half  dollars  besides  ?  [Paper  money  has  never  come 
into  use  on  the  Pacific  coast.]  Reporting  was  lucrative,  and 
every  man  in  the  town  was  lavish  with  liis  money  and  his 
"  feet."  The  city  and  all  the  great  mountain  side  were  riddled 
with  mining  shafts.  There  were  more  mines  than  miners. 
True,,  not  ten  of  these  mines  were  yielding  rock  worth  hauling 
to  a  mill,  but  everybody  said,  "  Wait  till  the  shaft  gets  down 
where  the  ledge  comes  in  solid,  and  then  you  will  see ! "  So 
nobody  was  discouraged.  These  were  nearly  all  "  wild  cat " 
mines,  and  wholly  worthless,  but  nobody  believed  it  then.  The 
«  Ophir,"  the  "  Gould  &  Curry,"  the  "  Mexican,"  and  other 
great  mines  on  the  Comstock  lead  in  Virginia  and  Gold  HUl 
were  turning  out  huge  piles  of  rich  rock  every  day,  and  every 
man  believed  that  his  little  vdld  cat  claim  was  as  good  as  any 
on  the  "  main  lead  "  and  would  infallibly  be  worth  a  thousand 
dollars  a  foot  when  he  "  got  down  where  it  came  in .  solid." 
Poor  fellow,  he  was  blessedly  blind  to  the  fact  that  he  never 
would  see  that  day.  So  the  thousand  wild  cat  shafts  burrowed 
deeper  and  deeper  into  the  earth  day  by  day,  and  all  men 
were  beside  themselves  with  hope  and  happiness.  How  they 
labored,  prophesied,  exulted !     Surely  nothing  like  it  was  ever 



seen  before  since  the  world  began.  Every  one  of  these  wild 
cat  mines — not  mines,  but  holes  in  the  ground  over  imaginary 
mines — was  incorporated  and  had  handsomely  engraved 
"  stock  "  and  the  stock  was  salable,  too.  It  was  bought  and 
sold  with  a  feverish  avidity  in  the  boards  every  day.  You 
could  go  up  on  the  mountain  side,  scratch  around  and  find  a 
ledge  (there  was  no  lack  of  them),  put  up  a  "  notice  "  with  a 
grandiloquent  name  in  it,  start  a  shaft,  get  your  stock  printed, 
and  with  nothing 
whatever  to  prove 
that  your  mine  was 
worth  a  straw,  you 
could  put  your  stock 
on  the  market  and 
sell  out  for  hundreds 
and  even  thousands 
of  dollars.  To  make 
riioney,  and  make  it 
fastj  was  a3  easy  as 
it  was  to  eat  your 
dinner.  Every  man 
owned  "feet"  in 
fifty  difierent  wild 
cat  mines  and  con- 
sidered his  fortune 
made.  Think  of  a 
city  with  not  one 
solitary  poor  'man  in  it !  One  would  suppose  that  when  month 
after  month  went  by  and  still  not  a  wild  cat  mine  [by  wild  cat 
I  mean,  in  general  terms,  omy  claim  not  located  on  the  mother 
vein,  *.  c,  the  "  Comstock")  yielded  a  ton  of  rock  worth 
crushing,  the  people  would  begin  to  wonder  if  they  were  not 
putting  too  much  faith  in  their  prospective  riches  ;  but  there 
was  not  a  thought  of  such  a  thing.  They  burrowed  away,, 
bought  and  sold,  aiid  were  happy. 

New  claims  were  taken  up  daily,  and  it  was  the  friendly  , 
custom  to  run  straight  to  the  nfewspaper  offices,  give  the  re- 



porter  forty  or  fifty  "  feet,"  and  get  them  to  go  and  examine 
the  mine  and  publish  a  notice  of  it.  They  did  not  care  a  fig 
\vh5,t  you  said  about  the  property  so  you  said  something. 
Consequently  we  generally  said  a  word  or  two  to  the  effect 
that  the  "  indications  "  were  good,  or  that  the  ledge  was  "  six 
feet  wide,"  or  that  the  rock  "  resembled  the  Comstock  "  (and 
so  it  did — but  as  a  general  thing  the  resemblance  was  not 
startling  enough  to  knock  you  down).  If  the  rock  was  moder- 
ately promising,  we  followed  the  custom  of  the  country,  used 
strong  adjectives  and  frothed  at  the  mouth  as  if  a  very  marvel 
in  silver  discoveries  had  transpired.  If  the  mine  was  a  "  de- 
veloped "  one,  and  had  no  pay  ore  to  show  (and  of  course  it 
hadn't),  we  praised  the  tunnel ;  said  it  was  one  of  the  most 
infatuating  tunnels  in  the  land;  driveled  and  driveled  about 
the  tunnel  till  we  ran  entirely  out  of  ecstasies^— but  never  said 
a  word  about  the  rock.  We  would  squander  half  a  column  of 
adulation  on  a  shaft,  or  a  new  wire  rope,  or  a  dressed  pine 
windlass,  or  a  fascinating  force  pump,  and  close  with  a  burst  of 
admiration  of  the  "gentlemanly  and  efficient  Superintendent" 
of  the  mine — but  never  utter  a  whisper  about  the  rock.  And 
those  people  were  always  pleased,  always  satisfied.  Occasion- 
ally we  patched  up  and  varnished  our  reputation  for  discrimi- 
nation and  stern,  undeviating  accuracy,  by  giving  some  old 
abandoned  claim  a  blast  that  ought  to  have  made  its  dry  bones 
rattle — and  then  somebody  would  seize  it  and  sell  it  on  the 
,  fleeting  notoriety  thus  conferred  upon  it. 

There  was  nothing  in  the  shape  of  a  mining,  claim  that  was 
not  salable.  We  received  presents  of  "  feet "  every  day.  If 
we  needed  a  hundred  dollars  or  so,  we  sold  some ;  if  not,  we 
hoarded  it  away,  satisfied  that  it  would  ultimately  be  worth 
a  thousand  dollars  a  foot.  I  had  a  trunk  about  half  full  of 
"  stock."  When  a  claim  made  a  stir  in  the  m'arket  and  went 
up  to  a  high  figure,  I  searched  through  my  pile  to  see  if  I  had 
any  of  its  stock — and  generally  found  it. 

The  prices  rose  and  fell  constantly  ;  but  still  a  fall  disturbed 
US  little,  because  a  thousand  dollars  a  foot  was  our  figure,  and 
60  we  were  content  to  let  it  flu«tuate  as  much  as  it  pleased  till  it 



reached  it.    My  pile  of  stock  was  not  all  given  to  me  by  people 
who  wished  their  claims  "  noticed."     At  least  half  of  it  was 
given  me  by  persons  who  had  no  thought  of  such  a  thing,tand 
looked  for  nothing  more  than  a  simple  verbal  "  thank  you ; "  and 
you  were  not  even  obliged  by  law  to  fiu-nish  that.     If  you  are 
•coming  up  the  street  with  a  couple 
of  baskets  of  apples  in  your  hands, 
and  you  meet  a  friend,  you  natu- 
rally invite  him  to  take  a  few. 
That  describes  the  condition  of 
things  in  Yirginia  in  the  "flush 
times."    Every  man  had  his  pock- 
ets full  of  stock,  and  it  was  the 
actual  custom  of  the  country  to 
part  with  small  quantities  of  it  to 
friends  without  the  asking.    Yery 
often  it  was  a  good  idea  to  close  the 
^transaction  instantly,  when  a  man 
offered  a  stock  present  to  a  friend, 
for  the  offer  was  only  good  and 
binding  at  that  moment,  and  if 
the  price  went  to  a  high  figure 
shortly  afterward  the  procrastina- , 
tion  was  a  thing  to  be  regretted. 
Mr.  Stewart  (Senator,  now,  from 
iSTevada)    one    day  told   me    he 

would  give  me  twenty  feet  of  "  Justis"  stock  if  I  would  walk 
over  to  his  office.  It  was  worth  five  or  ten  dollars  a  foot.  I 
asked  him  to  make  the  offer  good  for  next  day,  as  I  was  just 
going  to  dinner.  He  said  he  would  not  be  in  town ;  so  I 
risked  it  and  took  my  dinner  instead  of  the  stock.  Within 
the  week  the  price  went  up  to  seventy  dollars  and  afterward 
to  a  hundred  and  fifty,  but  nothing  could  make  that  man  yield. 
I  suppose  he  sold  that  stock  of  mine  and  placed  the  guilty 
proceeds  in  his  own  pocket.  [My  revenge  will  be  found  in 
the  accompanying  portrait.]  I  met  three  friends  one  after- 
noon, who  said  they  had  been  buying  "Overman"  stock  at 

"TRT  A  FEW?" 




auction  at  eight  dollars  a  foot.  One  said  if  I  would  come  up 
to  liis  ofSce  he  would  give  me  fifteen  feet;  another  said  he 
would  add  fifteen ;  the  third  said  he  would  do  the  same.    But 

I  was  going  after  an  inquest 
and  could  not  stop.  A  few 
weeks  afterward  they  sold  all 
their  "  Overman  "  at  six  hun- 
dred dollars  a  foot  and  gen- 
erously came  around  to  tell 
me  about  it — and  also  to  urge 
me  to  accept  of  the  next  forty- 
five  feet  of  it  that  people  tried 
to  force  on  me.  These  are 
actual  facts,  and  I  could  make 
the  Ust  a  long  one  and  still 
confine  myself  strictly  to  the 
truth.  Many  a  time  friends 
gave  us  as  much  as  twenty -five  feet  of  stock  that  was  selling 
at  twenty-five,  dollars  a  foot,  and  they  thought  no  more  of  it 
than  they  would  of  oifering  a  guest  a  cigar.  These  were 
"flush  times"  indeed!  I  thought  they  were  going  to  last 
always,  but  somehow  I  never  was  much  of  a  prophet. 

To  show  what  a  wild  spirit  possessed  the  mining  brain  of 
the  community,  I  will  remark  that  "claims"  were  actually 
"  located  "  in  excavations  for ,  cellars,  where  the  pick  had  ex- 
posed what  seemed  to  be  quartz  veins — and  not  cellars  in  the 
suburbs,  either,  but  in  the  very  heart  of  the  city ;  and  forth- 
with stock  would  be  issued  and  thrown  on  the  market.  It  was 
small  matter  who  the  cellar  belonged  to — the  "  ledge  "  belonged 
to  the  finder,  and  unless  the  United  States  government  inter- 
fered (inasmuch  as  the  government  holds  the  primary  right  to 
mines  of  the  noble  metals  in  Nevada — or  at  least  did  then), 
it  was  considered  to  be  his  privilege  to  work  it.  Imagine  a 
stranger  staking  out  a  mining  claim  among  the  costly  shrub- 
bery m  your  front  yard  and  calmly  proceeding  to  lay  waste 
the  ground  with  pick  and  shovel  andblasting  powder !  It  has 
been  often  done  in  California.     In  the  middle  of  one  of  the 



principal  business  streets  of  Virginia,  a  man  "located"  a 
mining  claim  and  began  a  shaft  on  it.  He  gave  me  a  hundred 
feet  of  the  stock  and  I  sold  it  for  a  fine  suit  of  clothes  beeauso 
I  was  afraid  somebody  would  fall  down  the  shaft  and  sue  for 
damages.  I  owned  in  another  claim  that  was  located  in  the 
middle  of  another  street ;  and  to  show  how  absurd  people  can 
be,  that  "East  India"  stock  (as  it  was  called)  sold  briskly 
although  there  was  an  ancient  tunnel  running  directly  under 
the  claim  and  any  man  could  go  into  it  and  see  that  it  did  not 
cut  a  quartz  ledge  or  anything  that  remotely  resembled  one. 

One  plan  of  acquiring  sudden  wealth  was  to  "  salt "  a  wild 
cat  claim  and  sell  out  while  the  excitement  was  up.  The  proeess 
was  simple. 
The  schemer 
located  a 
ledge,  sunk 
a  shaft  on  it, 
bought  a 
wagon  load 
of  rich  "Corn- 
stock"  ore, 
dumped  a 
portion  of  it 
into  the  shaft 
and  piled  the 
rest  by  its 
side,  above 
Then  he 
showed  the 
property  to  a 
and  sold  it  to 

him  at  a^  high  figure.  ,  Of  course  the  wagon  load  of  rich  ore 
was  all  that  the  victim  ever  got  out  of  his  purchase.  A 
most  remarkable  case  of  "salting"  was  that  of  the  "North 
Ophir."    It  was  claimed  that  this  vein  was- a  remote  "exten- 

6ELLmO  A  Mini:. 

313  A    TKAGEDIAN    IN    A    NEW    ROLE. 

sion  "  of  the  original  "  Ophir,"  a  valuable  mine  on  the  "  Com- 
stock."  For  a  few  days  everybody  was  talking  about  the  rich 
developments  in  the  North  Ophir.  It  was  said  that  it  yielded 
perfectly  pure  silver  in  small,  solid  lumps.  I  went  to  the 
place  with  the  owners,  and  found  a  shaft  six  or  eight  feet 
deep,  in  the  bottom  of  which  was  a  badly  shattered  vein  of 
dull,  yellowish,  unpromising  rock.  One  would  as  soon  expect 
to  find  silver  in  a  grindstone.  We  got  out  a  pan  of  the  rub- 
bish and  washed  it  in  a  puddle,  and  sure  enough,  among  the 
sediment  we  found  half  a  dozen  black,  bullet-looking  pellets 
of  unimpeachable  "  native  "  silver.  Nobody  had  ever  heard 
of  such  a  thing  before ;  science  could  not  account  for  such  a 
queer  novelty.  The  stock  rose  to  sixty-five  dollars  a  foot,  and 
at  this  figure  the  world-renowned  tragedian,  McKean  Bucha- 
nan, bought  a  commanding  interest  and  prepared  to  quit  the 
stage  once  more— rhe  was  always  doing  that.  And  then  it 
transpired  that  the  mine  had  been  "  salted  " — and  not  in  any 
hackneyed  way,  either,  but  in  a  singularly  bold,  barefaced  and 
peculiarly  original  and  outrageous  fashion.  On  one  of  the 
lumps  of  "  native "  silver  was  discovered  the  minted  legend, 
"  TED  States  of,"  and  then  it  was  plainly  apparent  that  the 
mine  had  been  "  salted"  with  melted  half-dollars !  The  lumps 
thus  obtained  had  been  blackened  till  they  resembled  native 
silver,  and  were  then  mixed  with  the  shattered  rock  in  the 
bottom  of  the  shaft.  It  is  literally  true.  Of  course  the  price 
of  the  stock  at  once  fell  to  nothing,  and  the  tragedian  was 
ruined.  But  for  this  calamity  we  might  have  lost  McKean 
Buchanan  from  the  stage. 


THE  "  flusli  times  "  lield  bravely  on.  Sometliiiig  over  two 
years  before,  Mr.  Goodman  and  another  journeyman 
printer,  had  borrowed  forty  dollars  and  set  ont  from  San 
Francisco  to  try  their  fortunes  in  the  new  city  of  Virginia. 
They  found  the  Territorial  Enterprise,  a  poverty-stricken 
weekly  journal,  gasping  for  breath  and  likely  to  die.  They 
bought  it,  type,  fixtures, "good-wiU  and  all,  for  a  thousand  dol- 
lars, on  long  time.  The  editorial  sanctum,  news-room,  press- 
room, publication  office,  bed-chamber,  parlor,  and  kitchen  were 
all  compressed  into  one  apartment  and  it  was  a  small  one, 
too.  The  editors  and  printers  slept  on  the  floor,  a  China- 
man did  their  cooking,  and  the  "imposing-stone"  was  the 
general  dinner  table.  But  now  things  were  changed.  The 
paper  was  a  great  daily,  printed  by  steam ;  there  were  five 
editors  and  twenty-three  compositors;  the  subscription  price 
was  sixteen  dollars  a  year ;  the  advertising  rates  were  exorbi- 
tant, and  the  columns  crowded.  The  paper  was  clearing  from 
six  to  ten  thousand  dollars  a  month,  and  the  "  Enterprise  Build- 
ing" was  finished  and  ready  for  occupation — a  stately  fire- 
proof brick.  Every  day  from  five  all  the  way  up  to  eleven 
columns  of  "live"  advertisements  were  left  out  or  crowded 
into  spasmodic  and  irregular  "supplements." 

The  "  Gould  &  Curry  "  company  were  erecting  a  monster 
hundred-stamp  mUl  at  a  cost  that  ultimately  fell  little  short  of 
a  million  dollars.  Gould  &  Curry  stock  paid  heavy  dividends 
— a  rare  thing,  and  an  experience  confined  to  the  dozen  or  fif- 


teen  claims  located  on  the  "  main  lead/'  the  "  Comstock."  The 
Superintendent  of  the  Gould  &  Curry  lived,  rent  free,  in  a 
fine  house  built  and  furnished  by  the  company.  He  drove  a 
fine  pair  of  horses  which  were  a  present  from  the  company, 
and  his  salary  was  twelve  thousand  dollars  a  year.  The  super- 
intendent of  another  of  the  greatj  mines  traveled  in  grand 
etate,  had  a  salary  of  twent;y-eight  thousand  dollars  a  year,  and 
in  a  law  suit  in  after  days  claimed  that  he  was  to  have  had 
one  per  cent,  on  the  gross  yield  of  the  bullion  likewise. 

Money  was  wonderfully  plenty.  The  trouble  ,was,  not 
how  to  get  it, — but  how  to  spend  it,  how  to  lavish  it, 
get  rid  of  it,  squander  it.  And  so  it  was  a  happy  thing 
that  just  at  this  juncture  the  news  came  over  the  wires 
vthat  a  great  United  States  Sanitary  Commission  had  been 
formed  and  money  was  wanted  for  the  relief  of  the  wounded 
sailors  and  soldiers  of  the  Union  languishing  in  the  Eastern 
hospitals.  Right  on  the  heels  of  it  came  word  that  San 
Francisco  had  responded  superbly  before  the  telegram  was 
half  a  day  -  old.  Virginia  rose  as  one  man !  A  Sanitary 
Committee  was  hurriedly  organized,  d,nd  its  chairman  mounted 
a  vacant  cart  in  C  street  and  tried  to  make  the  clamorous  mul- 
titude understand  that  the  rest  of  the  committee  were  flying 
hither  and  thither  and  working  with  all  their  might  and  main, 
and  that  if  the  town  would  only  Avait  an  hour,  an  office  would 
be  ready,  books  opened,  and  the  Commission  prepared  to 
receive  contributions.  His  voice  was  drowned  and  his  infor- 
mation lost  in  a  ceaseless  roar  of  cheers,  and  demands  that 
the  money  be  received  now — they  swore  they  would  not  wait. 
The  chairman  pleaded  and  argued,  but,  deaf  to  all  entreaty, 
men  plowed  their  via.j  through  the  throng  and  rained  checks 
of  gold  coin  into  the  cart  and  skurried  away  for  more.  Hands 
clutching  money,  were  thrust  aloft  out  of  the  jam  by  men  who 
hoped  this  eloquent  appeal  would  cleave  a  road  their  strug- 
glings  could  not  open.  The  very  Chinamen  and  Indians 
caught  the  excitement  and  dashed  theif  half  doUars  into  the 
cart  without  knowing  or  caring  what  it  was  all  about.  "Women 
plunged  into  the  crowd,  trimly  attired,  fought  their  way  to  the 



cart  witlj  their  coin,  and  emerged  again,  by  and  by,  ■witb  tbeir 
apparel  in  a  state  of  hopeless  dilapidation.  It  was  the  wildest 
mob  Yirginia  had  ever  seen  and  the  most  determined  and  un- 
governable ;  and  when  at  last  it  abated  its  fury  and  dispersed, 

couldn't  wait. 

it  had  not  a  penny  in  its  pocket.     To  use  its  own  phraseology, 
it  came  there  "  flush  "  and  went  away  "  busted." 

After  that,  the  Commission  got  itself  into  systematic  work- 
ing order,  and  for  weeks  the  contributions  flowed  into  its 
treasury  in  a  generous  stream.  Individuals  and  all  sorts  of 
organizations  levied  upon  themselves  a  regular  weekly  tax  fojr 


the  sanitary  fund,  graduated  according  to  their  means,  and 
there  was  not  another  grand  universal  outburst  till  the  famous 
"Sanitary  Flour  Sack"  came  our  way.  Its  history  is  peculiar 
and  interesting.  A  former  schoolmate  of  mine,  by  the  name 
of  Eeuel  Gridley,  was  living  at  the  little  city  of  Austin,  in 
the  Reese  river  country,  at  this  time,  and  was  the  Democratic 
candidate  for  mayor.  He  and  the  Republican  candidate  made 
an  agreement  that  the  defeated  man  should  be  publicly  pre- 
sented with  a  fifty-pound  sack  of  flour  by  the  successful  one, 
and  should  carry  it  home  on  his  shoulder.  Gridley  was 
defeated.  The  new  mayor  gave  him  the  sack  of  flour,  and  he 
shouldered  it  and  carried  it  a  mile  or  two,  from  Lower  Austin 
to  his  home  in  Upper  Austin,  attended  by  a  band  of  music  and 
the  whole  population.  Arrived  there,  he  said  he  did  not  need 
the  flour,  and  asked  what  the  people  thought  he  had  better  do 
with  it.     A  voice  said : 

"  Sell  it  to  the  highest  bidder,  for  the  benefit  of  the  Sani- 
tary fund." 

The  suggestion  was  greeted  with  a  round  of  applause,  and 
Gridley  mounted  a  dry-goods  box  and  assumed  the  role  of 
auctioneer.  The  bids  went  higher  and  higher,  as  the  sympa- 
thies of  the  pioneers  awoke  and  expanded,  till  at  last  the  sack 
was  knocked  down  to  a  mill  man  at  two  hundred  and  fifty 
dollars,  and  his  check  taken.  He  was  asked  where  he  would 
have  the  flour  delivered,  and  he  said : 

"  Nowhere — sell  it  again." 

Now  the  cheers  went  up  royally,  and  the  multitude  were 
fairly  in  the  spirit  of  the  thing.  So  Gridley  stood  there  and 
shouted  and  perspired  till  the  sun  went  down ;  and  when  the 
crowd  dispersed  he  had  sold  the  sack  to  three  hundred  different 
people,  and  had  taken  in  eight  thousand  dollars  in  gold.  And 
still  the  flour  sack  was  in  his  possession. 

The  news  came  to  Virginia,  and  a  tele^am  went  back : 

"  Fetch  along  your  flour  sack ! " 

Thirty-six  hours  afterward  Gridley  arrived,  and  an  after- 
noon mass  meeting  was  held  in  the  Opera  House,  and  the 
auction  began.     But  the  sack  had  come  sooner  than  it  was 

Ill t     -     . 

'li'    I     1.  ii'u        _i  -.       !,V    '' 

'       •  \  I 

THE    SACK    IN    GOLD    HILL    AND    DAYTON.         317 

expecte(i;  the  people  were  not  thorouglily  aroused,  and  the 
6al6  dragged.  At  nightfall  only  five  thousand  dollars  had 
been  secured,  and  there  was  a  crestfallen  feeling  in  the  com- 
munity. However,  there  was  no  disposition  to  let  the  matter 
rest  here  and  acknowledge  vanquishment  at  the  hands  of  the 
village  of  Austin.  Till  late  in  the  night  the  principal  citizens 
were  at  work  arranging  the  morrow's  campaign,  and  when 
they  went  to  bed  they  had  no  fears  for  the  result.  At  elpven 
the  next  morning  a  procession  of  open  carriages,  attended  by 
clamorous  bands  of  music  and  adorned  with  a  moving  display 
of  flags,  filed  along  C  street  and  was  soon  in  danger  of 
blockade  by  a  huzzaing  multitude  of  citizens.  In  the  first 
carriage  sat  Gridley,  with  the  flour  sack  in  prominent  view, 
the  latter  splendid  with  bright  paint  and  gilt  lettering ;  also  in 
the  same  carriage  sat,  the  mayor  and  the  recorder.  The  other 
carriages  contained  the  Common  Council,  the  editors  and 
reporters,  and  other  people  of  imposing  consequence.  The 
crowd  pressed  to  the  comer  of  C  and  Taylor  streets,  expecting 
the  sale  to  begin  there,  but  they  were  disappointed,  and  also 
unspeakably  surprised;  for  the  cavalcade  moved  on  as  if 
Virginia  had  ceased  to  be  of  importance,  and  took  its  way 
over  the  "divide,"  toward  the  small  town  of  Gold  HilL 
Telegrams  had  gone  ahead  to  Gold  Hill,  Silver  City  and 
Dayton,  and  those  communities  were  at  fever  heat  and 
rife  for  the  conflict.  It  was  a  very  hot  day,  and  wonderfully 
dusty.  At  the  end  of  a  short  half  hour  we  descended  into 
Gold  Hill  with  drums  beating  and  colors  flying,  and  enveloped 
in  imposing  clouds  of  dust.  The  whole  population — men, 
women  and  children.  Chinamen  and  Indians,  were  massed  in 
the  main  street,  all  the  flags  in  town  were  at  the  mast  head, 
and  the  blare  of  the  bands  was  drowned  in  cheers.  Gridley 
stood  up  and  asked  who  would  make  the  flrst  bid  for  the 
National  Sanitary  Flour  Sack.     Gen.  "W".  said  : 

"  The  Yellow  Jacket  silver  mining  company  offers  a  thou- 
sand dollars,  coin ! " 

A  tempest  of  applause  followed.  A  telegram  carried 
the  news  to  Yirginia,  and  fifteen  minutes  afterward  that  city's 


population  was  massed  in  the  streets  devouring  the  tidings — 
for  it  was  part  of  the  programme  that  the  bulletin  boards 
should  do  a  good  work  that  day.  Every  few  minutes  a  new 
dispatch  was  bulletined  from  Gold  Hill,  and  still  the  excite- 
ment grew.  Telegrams  began  to  return  to  us  from  Virginia 
beseeching  Gridley  to  bring  back  the  flour  sack ;  but  such 
was  not  the  plan  of  the  campaign.  At  the  end  of  an  hour 
Gold  Hill's  small  population  had  paid  a  figure  for  the  flour 
sack  that  awoke  all  the  enthusiasm  of  Virginia  when  the  grand 
total  was  displayed  upon  the  bulletin  boards.  Then  the 
Gridley  cavalcade  moved  on,  a  giant  refreshed  with  new  lager 
beer  and  plenty  of  it — for  the  people  brought  it  to  the 
carriages  without  waitinsr  to  measure  it — and  within  three 
hours  more  the  expedition  had  carried  Silver  City  and  Dayton 
by  storm  and  was  on  its  way  back  covered  with  glory.  Every 
move  had  been  telegraphed  and  bulletined,  and  as  the  pro- 
cession entered  Virginia  and  filed  down  C  street  at  half  past 
eight  in  the  evening  the  town  was  abroad  in  the  thorough- 
fares, torches  were  glaring,  flags  flying,  bands  playing,  cheer 
on  cheer  cleaving  the  air,  and  the  city  ready  to  surrender  at 
discretion.  The  auction  began,  every  bid  was  greeted  with 
bursts  of  applause,  and  at  the  end  of  two  hours  and  a  half  a 
population  of  fifteen  thousand  souls  had  paid  in  coin  for  a 
fifty-pound  sack  af  flour  a  sum  equal  to  forty  thousand  dollars 
in  greenbacks !  It  was  at  a  rate  in  the  neighborhood  of  three 
dollars  for  each  man,  woman  and  child  of  the  population. 
The  grand  total  would  have  been  twice  as  large,  but  the 
streets  were  very  narrow,  and  hundreds  who  wanted  to  bid 
could  not  get  within  a  block  of  the  stand,  and  could  not  make 
themselves  heard.  These  grew  tired  of  waiting  and  many  of 
tliem  went  home  long  before  the  auction  was  over.  This  was 
the  greatest  day  Virginia  ever  saw,  perhaps. 

Gridley  sold  tlie  sack  in  Carson  city  and  several  California 
towns ;  also  in  San  Francisco.  Then  he  took  it  east  and  sold 
it  in  one  or  two  Atlantic  cities,  I  think.  I  am  not  sure  of 
that,  but  I  know  that  he  finally  carried  it  to  St.  Louis,  where  a 
monster  Sanitary  Fair  was  being  held,  and  after  selling  it 



tHere  for  a  large  sum  and  helping  on  the  enthusiasm  by  dis- 
playing the  portly  silver  bricks  which  Nevada's  donation  had 
produced,  he  had  the  flour  baked  up  into  small  cakes  and  re- 
tailed them  at  high  prices. 

It  was  estimated  that  when  the  flour  sack's  mission  was 
ended  it  had  been  sold  for  a  grand  total  of  a  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars  in  greenbacks!  This  is  probably  the  only 
instance  on  record  where  common  family  flour  brought  three 
thousand  dollars  a  pound  in  the  public  market. 

It  is  due  to  Mr.  Gridley's  memory  to  mention  that  the 
expenses  of  his  sanitary  flour  sack  expedition  of  fifteen  thou- 
sand miles,  going  a^nd  returning,  were  paid  in  large  part,  if 
not  entirely,  out  of  his  own  pocket.  The  time  he  gave  to  it 
was  not  less  than  three  months.  Mr.  Gridley  was  a  soldier 
in  the  Mexican  war  and  a  pioneer  Califomian.  He  died  at 
Stockton,  California,  in  December,  1870,  greatly  regretted. 


THERE  were  nabobs  in  those  days — ^in  tbe  "  fiufeli  times," 
I  mean.  Every  rich  strike  in  the  mines  created  one  or 
two.  I  call  to  mind  several  of  these.  They  were  careless, 
easy-going  fellows,  as  a  general  thing,  and  the  community  at 
large  was  as  much  benefited  by  their  riches  as  they  were 
themselves — possibly  more,  in  some  cases. 

Two  cousins,  teamsters,  did  some  hauling  for  a  man  and 
had  to  take  a  small, segregated  portion  of  a  silver  mine  in  heu 
of  $300  cash.  They  gave  an  outsider  a  third  to  open  the 
mine,  and  they  went  on  teamiag.  But  not  long.  Ten  months 
afterward  the  mine  was  out  of  debt  and  paying  each  owner 
$8,000  to  $10,000  a  month— say  $100,000  a  year. 

One  of  the  earliest  nabobs  that  l^evada  was  delivered  of 
wore  $6,000  worth  of  diamonds  in  his  bosom,  and  swore  he 
was  unhappy  because  he  could  not  spend  his  money  as  fast  as 
he  made  it. 

Another  Nevada  nabob  boasted  an  income  that  often 
reached  $16,000  a  month ;  and  he  used  to  love  to  tell  how  he 
had  worked  in  the  very  mine  that  yielded  it,  for  five  dollars  a 
day,  when  he  first  came  to  the  country. 

The  silver  and  sage-brush  State  has  knowledge  of  another 
of  these  pets  of  fortune — ^lifted  from  actual  poverty  to  affluence 
almost  in  a  single  night — who  was  able  to  oflFer  $100,000  for  a 
position  of  high  official  distinction,  shortly  afterward,  and  did 
offer  it — but  failed  to  get  it,  his  politics  not  being  as  sound  as 
his  bank  account. 



Then  there  was  John  Smith.  He  was  a  good,* honest,  kilid- 
hearted  soul,  born  and  reared  in  the  lower  ranks  of  life,  and 
miraculously  ignorant.  He  drove  a  team,  and  owned  a  small 
ranch — a  ranch  that  paid  him  a  comfortable  living,  for  al- 
though it  yielded  but  little  hay,  what  little  it  did  yield  was 
worth  from  $250  to  $300  in  gold  per  ton  in  the  market. 
Presently  Smith  traded  a  few  acres  of  the  ranch  for  a  small 
undeveloped  silver  mine  in  Gold  Hill.  He  opened  the  mine 
and  built  a  little  unpretending  ten-stamp  mill.  Eighteen 
months  afterward  he  retired  from  the  hay  business,  for  his 
mining  income  had  reached  a  most  comfortable  figure.  Some 
people  said  it  was  $30,000  a  month,  and  others  said  it  was 
$60,000.     Smith  was  very  rich  at  any  rate. 

And  then  he  went  to  Europe  and  traveled.  And  when  he 
came  back  he  was  never  tired  of  telling  about  the  fine  hogs  he 
had  seen  in  England,  and  ' 

the  gorgeous  sheep  he  had 
seen  in  Spain,  and  the  fine 
cattle  he  had  noticed  in  the 
vicinity  of  Eome.  He  was 
full  of  the  wonders  of  the 
old  world,  and  advised  every- 
body to  travel.  He  said  a 
man  never  imagined  what 
surprising  things  there  were 
in  ■  the  world  till  he  had 

One  day,  on  board  ship, 
the  passengers  made  up  a 
pool  of  $500,  which  wac  to 
be  the  property  of  the  man 
who  sjiould  come  nearest  to 
guessing  the  run  of  the  ves- 
sel for  the  next  twenty-four 
hours.  Next-  day,  toward 
noon,  the  figures  were  all  in  the  purser's  hands  in  sealed  en- 
velopes. Smith  was  serene  and  happy,  for  he  had  been  brib- 



ing  the  engineer.     But  another  party  won  the  prize  !     Smith 

"  Here,  that  won't  do !  He  guessed  two  miles  wider  of 
the  mark  than  I  did." 

The  purser  said,  "Mr.  Smith,  you  missed  it  further  than 
any  man  on  board.  "We  traveled  two  hundred  and  eight  miles 

'  "Well,  sir,"  said  Smith,  "that's  just  where  I've  got  you, 
for  I  guessed  two  hundred  and  nine.  If  you'll  look  at  my 
figgers  again  you'll  find  a  2  and  two  O's,  which  stands  for  200, 
don't  it  ? — and  after  'em  you'll  find  a  9  (2009),  which  stands 
for  two  hundred  and  nine.  I  reckon  I'll  take  that  money,  if 
you  please." 

The  Gould  &  Curry  claim  comprised  twelve  hundred  feet, 
and  it  all  belonged  originally  to  the  two  men  whose  names  it 
bear?.  Mr.  Curry  owned  two  thirds  of  it — and  he  said  that  he 
sold  it  out  for  twenty-five  hundred  dollars  in  cash,  and  an  old 
plug  horse  that  ate  up  his  market  value  in  hay  and  barley  in 
seventeen  days  by  the  watch.  And  he  said  that  Gould  sold 
out  for  a  pair  of  second-hand  govermnent  blankets  and  a  bot- 
tle of  whisky  that  killed  nine  men  in  tliree  hours,  and  that  an 
unoffending  stranger  that  smelt  the  cork  was  disabled  for  hfe. 
Four  years  afterward  the  mine  thus  disposed  of  was  worth  in 
the  San  Francisco  market  seven  millions  six  hundred  thousand 
dollars  in  gold  coin. 

In  the  early  days  a  poverty-stricken  Mexican  who  lived  in 
a  canyon  directly  back  of  Virginia  City,  had  a  stream  of  water 
as  large  as  a  man's  wrist  trickling  from  the  hill-side  on  his 
premises.  The  Ophir  Company  segregated  a  himdred  feet  of 
their  mine  and  traded  it  to  him  for  the  stream  of  water.  The 
hundred  feet  proved  to  be  the  richest  part  of  the  entire 
mine ;  four  years  after  the  swap,  its  market  value  (including 
its  mill)  was  $1,500,000. 

An  individual  who  owned  twenty  feet  in  the  Ophir  mine 
before  its  gi'eat  riches  were  revealed  to  men,  traded  it  for.  a 
horse,  and  a  very  sorry  looking  brute  he  was,  too.  A  year  or 
so  afterward,  when  Ophir  stock  went  up  to  $E,000  a  foot,  this 



man,  vfho  had  not  a  cent,  used,  to  say  he  was  the  most  startling 
example  of  magnificence  and  misery  the  world  had  ever  seen 
— because  he  was  able  to  ride  a  sixty-thousand-dollar  horse — 
yet  could  not  scrape  up  cash  enough  to  buy  a  saddle,  and  was 
obliged  to  borrow  one 
or  ride  bareback.  He 
said  if  fortune  were  to 
give  him  another  sixty- 
thousand-dollar  horse  it 
would  ruin  him. 

A  youth  of  nineteen, 
who  was  a  telegraph 
operator  in  Virginia  on 
a  salary  of  a  hundred 
dollars  a  month,  and 
who,  when  he  could  not 
make  out  German  names 
in  the  list  of  San  Fran- 
cisco steamer  arrivals, 
used  to  ingeniously  se- 
lect and  supply  substi- 
tutes for  them  out  of  an 
old  Berlin  city  directory, 
made  himself  rich  by 
watching  the  mining 
telegrams  that  passed  through  his  hands  and  buying  and  sell- 
ing stocks  accordingly,  through  a  friend  in  San  Francisco. 
Once  when  a  private  dispatch  was  sent  from  Yirginia  an- 
nouncing a  rich  strike  in  a  prominent  mine  and  advising  that 
the  matter  be  kept  secret  till  a  large  amount  of  the  stock  could 
bo  secured,  lie  bought  forty  "  feet "  of  the  stock  at  twenty 
dollars  a  foot,  and  afterward  sold  half  of  it  at  eight  hundred 
dbllars  a  foot  and  the  rest  at  double  that  figure.  "Within  three 
months  he  was  worth  $150,000,  and  had  resigned  his  telegraphic 

Another  telegraph  operator  who  had  been  discharged  by 
the  company  for  divulging  the  secrets  of  the  office,  agreed 



witli  a  moneyed  man  in  San  Francisco  to  famish  him  the 
•result  of  a  great  Virginia  mining  lawsuit  -within  an  hour  after 
its  private  reception  by  the  parties  to  it  in  San  Francisco. 
For  this  he  was  to  have  a  large  percentage  of  the  profits  on 
purchases  and  sales  made  on  it  by  his  fellow-conspirator.  So 
he  went,  disguised  as  a  teamster,  to  a  little  wayside  telegraph 
oflBce  in  the  mountains,  got  acquainted  with  the  operator,  and 
sat  in  the  office  day  after  day,  smoldng  his  pipe,  complaining 
that  his  team  was  fagged  out  and  unable  to  travel — and  mean- 
time listening  to  the  dispatches  as  they  passed  clicking  through 
the  machine  froipi  Virginia.  Finally  the  private  dispatch  an- 
nouncing the  result  of  the  lawsuit  sped  over  the  wires,  and  as 
soon  as  he  heard  it  he  telegraphed  his  friend  in  San  Francisco : 

"  Am  tired  waiting.     Shall  sell  the  team  and  go  home." 

It  was  the  signal  agreed  upon.  The  word  "waiting"  left 
out,  would  have  signified  that  the  suit  had  gone  the  other  way. 
The  mock  teamster's  friend  picked  up  a  deal  of  the  mining 
stock,  at  low  figures,  before  the  news  became  public,  and  a 
fortune  was  the  result.. 

For  a  long  time  after  one  of  the  great  Virginia  mines  had 
been  incorporated,  about  fifty  feet  of  the  original  location  were 
still  in  the  hands  of  a  man  who  had  never  signed  the  incorpo- 
ration papers.  The  stock  became  very  valuable,  and  every 
effort  was  made  to  find  this  man,  but  he  had  disappeared. 
Once  it  was  heard  that  he  was  in  New  York,  and  one  or  two 
speculators  went  east  but  failed  to  find  him.  Once  the  news 
came  that  he  was  in  the  Bermudas,  and  straightway  a  specu- 
lator or  two  hurried  east  and  sailed  for  Bermuda — but  he  was 
not  there.  Finally  he  was  heard  of  in  Mexico,  and  a  friend 
of  his,  a  bar-keeper  on  a  salary,  scraped  together  a  little  money 
and  sought  him  out,  bought  Ms  "feet"  for  a  himdred  doUars, 
retm-ned  and  sold  the  property  for  $75,000. 

But  why  go  on  1  The  traditions  of  Silverland  are  filled 
with  instances  like  these,  and  I  would  never  get  through  enu- 
merating them  were  I  to  attempt  do  it.  I  only  desired  to  give 
the  reader  an  idea  of  a  peculiarity  of  the  "  flush  times  "  which 
I  could  not  present  so  strikingly  in  any  other  way,  and  which 

NEVADA    NABOBS    IN    NEW    YOKK.  325 

some  mention  of  vras  necessary  to  a  realizing  comprehension 
of  tlie  time  arid  the  country. 

I  was  personally  acquainted  with  the  majority  of  the 
nabobs  I  have  referred  to,  and  so,  for  old  acquaintance  sake, 
I  have  shifted  their  occupations  and  experiences  around  in 
such  a  way  as  to  keep  the  Pacific  public  from  recognizing 
these  once  notorious  men.  No  longer  notorious,  for  the 
majority  of  them  have  drifted  back  into  poverty  and  obscurity 

In  Nevada  there  used  to  be  current  the  story  of  an  adven- 
ture of  two  of  her  nabobs,  which  may  or  may  not  have 
occurred.     I  give  it  for  what  it  is  worth : 

Col.  Jim  had  seen  somewhat  of  the  world,  and  knew  more 
or  less  of  its  ways ;  but  Col.  Jack  was  from  the  back  settle- 
ments of  the  States,  had  led  a  life  of  arduous  toil,  and  had 
never  seen  a  city.  These  two,  blessed  with  sudden  wealth, 
projected  a  visit  to  New  York, — Col.  Jack  to  see  the  sights, 
and  Col.  Jim  to  guard  his  unsophistication  from  misfortune. 
They  reached  San  Francisco  in  the  night,  and  sailed  in  the 
morning.     Arrived  in  New  York,  Col.  Jack  said : 

".I've  heard  tell  of  carriages  all  my  life,  and  now  I  mean  to 
have  a  ride  in  one ;   I  don't  care  what  it  costs.     Come  along." 

They  stepped  out  on  the  sidewalk!^  and  Col.  Jim  called  a 
stylish  barouche.     But  Col.  Jack  said : 

"  JVo,  sir !  None  of  your  cheap-John  turn-outs  for  me. 
I'm  here  to  have  a  good  time,  and  money  ain't  any  object.  I 
mean  to  have  the  nobbiest  rig  that's,  going.  Now  here  comes 
the  very  trick.  Stop  that  yaller  one  with  the  pictures  on  it — 
don't  you  fret — I'll  stand  all  the  expenses  myself." 

So  Col.  Jim  stopped  an  empty  omnibus,  and  they  got  in. 
Said  Col.  Jack : 

"Ain't  it  gay,  though?  Oh,  no,  I  reckon  not!  Cush- 
ions, and  windows,  and  pictures,  till  you  can't  rest.  What 
would  the  boys  say  if  they  could  see  us  cutting  a  swell  like 
this  in  New  York  ?     By  George,  I  wish  they  ccndd  see  us." 

Then  he  put  his  ,head  out  of  the  window,  and  shouted  to 
the  driver : 



"  Say,  Johnny,  this  suits  me  ! — suits  yours  truly,  you  bet, 
you !     I  want  this  shebang  all  day.     I'm  on  it,  old  man !    Let 
'em  out !    Make  'em  go !    "We'll  make  it  all  right  with  you, 
,  sonny ! " 

The  driver  passed  his  hand  through  the  strap-hole,  and  tap- 
ped for  his  fare — ^it  was  before  the  gongs  came  into  common 
use.  Col.  Jack  took  the  hand,  and  shook  it  cordially.  He 

"You  twig  me,  old  pard!  All  right  between  gents. 
Smell  of  that,  and  see  how  you  like  it ! " 

And  he  put  a  twenty-dollar  gold  piece  in  the   driver's 
hand.      After  a  moment 
the  driver  said  he  could 
not  make  change. 

"  Bother  the  change ! 
Eide  it  out.  Put  it  in 
your  pocket." 

Then  to  Col.  Jim,  with 
a  sounding  slap  on  his 
thigh : 

"Ain't  it  style,  though  ? 
Hanged  if  I  don't  hire 
this  thing  every  day  tdv  a 

The  omnibus  stopped, 
and  a  young  lady  got  in. 
Col.  Jack  stared  a  moment, 
then  nudged  Col.  Jim  with 
liis  elbow : 

"Don't  say  a  word," 
he  whispered.  "Let  her 
ride,  if  she  wants  to.     Gracious,  there's  room  enough." 

The  young  lady  got  out  her  porte-monnaie,  and  handed  her 
fare  to  Col.  Jack. 

"  "What's  tliis  for  ? "  said  he. 

"  Give  it  to  the  driver,  please." 

"Take  back  your  money,  madam..    .We   can't  allow  it. 




You're  welcome  to  ride  here  as  long  as  you  please,  but  this  she- 
bang's chartered,  and  we  can't  let  you  pay  a  cent." 

The  girl  shrunk  into  a  comer,  bewildered.  An  old  lady 
with  a  basket  climbed  in,  and  proffered  her  fare. 

"  Excuse  me,"  said  Col.  Jack.  "  You're  perfectly  welcome 
here,  madam,  but  we  can't  allow  you  to  pay.  Set  right  down 
there,  mum,  and  don't  you  be  the  least  uneasy.  Make  your- 
self just  as  free  as  if  you  was  in  your  own  turn-out." 

"Within  two  minutes,  three  gentlemen,  two  fat  women,  and 
a  couple  of  children,  entered. 

"  Come  right  along,  friends,"  said  Col.  Jack ;  "  don't  mind 
us.  This  is  a  free  blow-out."  Then  he  whispered  to  Col. 
Jim,  "  New  York  ain't  no  sociable  place,  I  don't  reckon — it 
ain't  no  name  for  it ! " 

He  resisted  every  effort  to  pass  fares  to  the  driver,  and 

made  everybody  cordially 
welcome.  The  situation 
dawned  on  the  people,  and 
they  pocketed  their  money, 
and  delivered  themselves 
up  to  covert  enjoyment  of 
the  episode.  Half  a  dozen 
more  passengers  entered. 

"  Oh,  there's  plenty 
of  room,"  said  Col.  Jack. 
"  "Wallf  right  in,  and  make 
yourselves  at  home.  A 
blow-out  ain't  worth  any- 
thing as  a  blow-out,  unless 
a  body  has  company."  Then  in  a  whisper  to  Col.  Jim :  "  But 
ainH  these  New  Yorkers  friendly  ?  And  ain't  they  cool  about 
it,  too  ?  Icebergs  ain't  anywhere.  I  reckon  they'd  tackle  a 
hearse,  if  it  was  going  their  way." 

More  passengers  got  in ;  more  yet,  and  still  more.  Both 
seats  were  filled,  and  a  file  of  men  were  standing  up,  holding 
on  to  the  cleats  overhead.  Parties  with  baskets  and  bundles 
were  climbing  up  on  the  roof.  Half-suppressed  laughter  rip- 
pled up  from  all  sides. 



"  Well,  for  clean,  cool,  otit-aiid-out  cheek,  if  tWs  don't  bang 
anythiEg  tliat  ever  I  saw,  I'm  an  Injun ! "  whispered  Col. 

A  Chinaman  crowded  his  way  in. 

"  I  weaken ! "  said  Col.  Jack.  "  Hold  on,  driver !  Keep 
your  seats,  ladies  and  gents.  Just  make  yourselves  free — 
everything's  paid  for.  Driver,  rustle  these  folks  around  as 
long  as  they're  a  mind  to  go — friends  of  ours,  yon  know. 
Take  them  everywheres — and  if  you  want  more  money,  come 


to  the  St.  Nicholas,  and  we'll  make  it  all  right.  Pleasant 
journey  to  you,  ladies  and  gents— go  it  just  as  long  as  you 
please — ^it  shan't  cost  you  a  cent ! " 

The  two  .comrades  got  out,  and  Col.  Jack  said : 
"  Jimmy,  it's  the  soeiablest  place  /  ever  saw.  The  China- 
man waltzed  in  as  comfortable  as  anybody.  If  we'd  staid 
awhile,  I  reckon  we'd  had  some  niggers.  B'  George,  we'll, 
have  to  barricade  our  doors  to-night,  or  some  of  these  ducks 
will  be  trying  to  sleep  with  us." 


SOMEBODY  has  said  that  in  order  to  know  a  community, 
one  must  observe  the  style  of  its  funerals  and  know 
what  manner  of  men  they  bury  with  most  ceremony.  I  can- 
not say  which  class  we  buried  with  most  eclat  in  our  "  flush 
times,"  the  distinguished  public  benefactor  or  the  distinguished 
rough — ^possibly  the  two  chief  grades  or  grand  divisions  of 
society  honored  their  illustrious  dead  about  equally;  and 
hence,  no  doubt  the  philosopher  I  haye  quoted  from  would 
have  needed  to  see  two  representative  funerals  in  Virginia 
before  forming  his  estimate  of  the  people. 

There  was  a  grand  time  over  Buck  Fanshaw  when  he  died. 
He  was  a  representative  citizen.  He  had  "killed  his  man" — 
not  in  his  own  quarrel,  it  is  true,  but  in  defence  of  a  stranger 
unfairly  beset  byjiumbers.  He  had  kept  a  sumptuous  saloon. 
He  had  been  the  proprietor  of  a  dashing  helpmeet  whom  he 
could  have  discarded  without  the  formality  of  a  divorce.  He 
had  held  a  high  position  in  the  fire  department  and  been  a 
very  "Warwick  in  politics.  When  he  died  there  was  great 
lamentation  throughout  the  town,  but  especially  in  the  vast 
bottom-stratum  of  society. 

On  the  inquest  it  was  shown  that  Buck  Fanshaw,  in  the 
delirium  of  a  wasting  typhoid  fever,  had  taken  arsenic,  shot 
himself  through  the  body,  cut  his  throat,  and  jumped  out  of  a 
four-story  window  and  broken  his  neck — and  after  due  delib- 
eration, the  jury,  sad  and  tearful,  but  with  intelligence  un- 
blinded  by  its  sorrow,  brought  in  a  verdict  of  death  "  by  the 
visitation  of  God."    What  could  the  world  do  without  juries  ? 

Prodigious  preparations  were  made  for  the  funeral.  All 
die  vehicles  in  town  were  hired,  all  the  saloons  put  in  mourn- 


ing,  all  the  municipal  and  fire-company  flags  hung  at  half-mast, 
and  all  the  firemen  ordered  to  muster  in  uniform  and  bring 
their  machines  duly  draped  in  black.  Now — let  us  remark  in 
parenthesis — as  all  the  peoples  of  the  earth  had  representative 
adventurers  in  the  Silverland,  and  as  each  adventurer  had 
brought  the  slang  of  his  nation  or  his  locality  with  him,  the 
combination  made  the  slang  of  Nevada  the  richest  and  the 
most  infinitely  varied  and  copious  that  had  ever  existed  any- 
where in  the  world,  perhaps,  except  in  the  mines  of  California 
in  the  "  early  days."  Slang  was  the  language  of  Nevada.  It 
was  hard  to  preach  a  sermon  without  it,  and  be  understood. 
Such  phrases  as  "  You  bet ! "  "  Oh,  no,  I  reckon  not ! "  "  No 
Irish  need  apply,"  and  a  hundred  others,  became  so  common 
as  to  fall  from  the  lips  of  a  speaker  unconsciously — and  very 
often  when  they  did  not  touch  the  subject  under  discussion 
and  consequently  failed  to  mean  anything. 

After  Buck  Fanshaw's  inquest,  a  meeting  of  the  short^ 
haired  brotherhood  was  held,  for  nothing  can  be  done  on  the 
Pacific  coast  without  a  public  meeting  and  an  expression  of 
sep.timent.  Eegretful  resolutions  were  passed  and  various 
committees  appointed ;  among  others,  a  committee  of  one  was 
deputed  to  call  on  the  minister,  a  fragile,  gentle  ,spii'ituel  new 
fledgling  from  an  Eastern  theologic&l  seminary,  and  as  yet  im- 
acquainted  with  the  ways  of  the  mines.  The  committeeman, 
"Scotty"  Briggs,  made  his  visit;  and  in  after  days  it  was 
"worth  something  to  hear  -the  minister  tell  about  it.  Scotty 
was  a  stalwart  rough,, whose  customary  suit,  when  on  weighty 
oflBcial  business,  like  committee  work,  was  a  fire  helmet,  flam- 
ing red  flannel  shirt,  patent  leather  belt  with  spanner  and 
revolver  attached,  coat  hung  over  aiTD,  and  pants  stuffed  into 
boot  tops.  He  formed  something  of  a  contrast  to  the  pale 
theological  student.  It  is  fair  to  say  of  Scotty,  however,  in 
passing,  that  he  had  a  warm  heart,  and  a  strong  love  for  his 
friends,  and  never  entered  into  a  quarrel  when  he  could  rear 
sonably  keep  out  of  it.  Indeed,  it  was  commonly  said  that 
whenever  one  of  Scotty's  fights  was  investigated,  it  always 
turned  out  that  it  had  originally  been  no  affair  of  his,  but  that 
out  of  native  goodheartedness  he  had  dropped  in  of  his  own 


accord  to  help  tlie  man  who  was  getting  the  worst  of  it.  He 
and  Buck  Fanshaw  were  bosom  friends,  for  years,  and  had 
often  taken  adventSrous  "pot-luck"  together.  On  one  occar 
sion,  they  had  thrown  off  their  coats  and  taken  the  weaker  side 
in  a  fight  among  strangers,  and  after  gaining  a  hard-earned 
victory,  turned  and  found  that  the  men  they  were  helping  had 
deserted  early,  and  not  only  that,  but  had  stolen  their  coats 
and  made  off  with  them !  But  to  return  to  Scotty's  visit  to 
the  minister.  He  was  on  a  sorrowful  mission,  now,  and  his 
face  was  the  picture  of  woe.  Being  admitted  to  the  presence, 
he  sat  down  before  the  clergyman,  placed  his  fire-hat  on  an 
unfinished  manuscript, sermon  under  the  minister's  nose,  took 
from  it  a  red  silk  handkerchief,  wiped  his  brow  and  heaved  a 
sigh  of  dismal  impressiveness,  explanatory  of  his  business. 


He  choked,  and    even    shed  tears ;  but  with  an  effort  he 
mastered  his  voice  and  said  in  lugubrious  tones  : 

"Are  you  the  duck  that  runs  the  gospel-mill  next  door?" 
"Am  I  the— pardon  me,  I  believe  I  do  not  understand?" 
"^ith  another  sigh  and  a  half-sob,  Scotty  rejoined : 

332  8C0TTT    CAN'T    PLAT    HIS     HAND. 

"  Why  joxx  see  we  are  in  a  bit  of  trouble,  and  the  boys 
thought  maybe  you  would  give  us  a  lift,  if  we'd  tackle  you — 
tliat  is,  if  I've  got  the  rights  of  it  and  you  are  the  head  clerk 
of  the  doxology-works  next  door." 

'■  I  am  the  shepherd  in  charge  of  the  flock  whose  fold  is 
next  door." 

"The  which?" 

"  The  spiritual  adviser  of  the  little  company  of  believers 
whose  sanctuary  adjoins  these  premises." 

Scotty  scratched  his  head,  reflected  a  moment,  and  then 
said : 

"  You  ruther  hold  over  me,  pard.  I  reckon  I  can't  call 
that  hand.     Ante  and  pass  the  buck." 

"  How  ?  I  beg  pardon.  What  did  I  understand  you  to 

"Well,  you've  ruther  got  the  bulge  on  me.  Or  niaybe 
we've  both  got  the  bulge,  somehow.  You  don't  smoke  me 
and  I  don't  smoke  you.  You  see,  one  of  the  boys  has  passed 
in  his  checks  and  we  want  to  give  him  a  good  send-off,  and  so 
the  thing  I'm  on  now  is  to  roust  out  somebody  to  jerk  a  little 
chin-music  for  us  and  waltz  him  through  handsome." 

"My  friend,  I  seem  to  grow  more  and  more  bewildered. 
Your  observations  are  wholly  incomprehensible  to  me.  Can- 
not you  simplify  them  in  some  way?  At  first  I  thought 
perhaps  I  understood  you,  but  I  grope  now.  Would  it  not 
expedite  matters  if  you  restricted  yourself  to  categorical 
statements  of  fact  unencumbered  with  obstructing  accumula- 
tions of  metaphor  and  allegory  ? " 

Another  pause,  and  more  reflection.    Then,  said  Scotty : 

"  I'll  have  to  pass,  I  judge." 


"  You've  raised  me  out,  pard." 

"  I  still  fail  to  catch  your  meaning." 

"  Why,  that  last  lead  of  yourn  is  too  many  for  me — that's 
the  idea.     I-  can't  neither  trump  nor  follow  suit."  ' 

The  clergyman  sank  back  in  his  chair  perplexed.  Scoity 
leaned  his  head  on  his  hand  and  gave  himself  up  to  thought. 
Presently  his  face  came  up,  sorrowful  but  confident.  1 

THE    MINISTER    A    LITTLE    MIXED.  333. 

"  I've  got  it  now,  so's  you  can  savvy,"  he  said.  "  What  we 
want  is  a  gospel-sharp.     See  ? " 

"A  what?" 

"  Gospel-sharp.    Parson." 

"  Oh  !  Why  did  you  not  say.  so  before  ?  I  am  a  clergy- 
man— a  parson." 

"  I^ow  you  talk  !  You  see  my  blind  and  straddle  it  like  a 
man.  Put  it  there ! " — extending  a  brawny  paw,  which  closed 
over  the  minister's  small  hand  and  gave  it  a  shake  indicative 
of  fraternal  sympathy  and  fervent  gratification. 

"  Now  we're  all  right,  pard.  Let's  start  fresh.  Don't  you 
mind  my  snuffling  a  little — becuz  we're  in  a  power  of  trouble. 
You  see,  one  of  the  boys  has  gone  up  the  flume —  " 

"  Gone  where  ? " 

"Up  the  flume — throwed  up  the, sponge,  you  understand." 

"  Thrown  up  the  sponge  ?  " 

"  Yes — kicked  the  bucket —  " 

"  Ah — ^has  departed  to  that  mysterious  country  from  whose 
bourne  no  traveler  retui'ns." 

"  Keturn !     I  reckon  not.     Why  pard,  he's  dead  !  " 

"  Yes,  I  understand." 

"  Oh,  you  do  ?  Well  I  thought  maybe  you  might  be  get- 
ting tangled  some  more.     Yes,  you  see  he's  dead  again —  " 

"  Again  ?    Why,  has  he  ever  been  dead  before  ?  " 

"  Dead  before  ?  No  !  Do  you  reckon  a  man  has  got  as 
many  lives  as  a  cat  ?  But  you  bet  you  he's  awful  dead  now, 
poor  old  boy,  and  I  wish  Fd  never  seen  this  day.  I  don't 
want  no  better  friend  than  Buck  Fanshaw.  I  knowed  him  by 
the  back ;  and  when  I  know  a  man  and  like  him,  I  freeze  to 
him — you  hear  me.  Take  him  all  round,  pard,  there  never 
was  a  bullier  man  in  the  mines.  No  man  ever  knowed  Buck 
Fanshaw  to  go  back  on  a  friend.  But  it's  all  up,  you  know, 
it's  all  iip.     It  ain't  no  use.     They've  scooped  him." 

"Scooped  him?" 

"Yes — death  has.  Well,  well,  well,  we've  got  to  give  him 
up.  Yes  indeed.  It's  a  kind  of  a  hard  world,  after  all,  amH 
it  ?  But  pard,  he  was  a  rustler !  You  ought  to  seen  him  get 
started  once.    He  was  a  bully  boy  with  a  glass  eye  !    Just  spit 

334  BEGINNING    TO    SEE. 

in  his  face  and  give  him  room  according  to  his  strength,  and 
it  was  just  beautiful  to  see  him  peel  and  go  in.  He  was  the 
worst  son  of  a  thief  that  ever  drawed  breath.  Pard,  he  was 
on  it !     He  was  on  it  bigger  than  an  Injun  !  " 

"On  it?     On  what?" 

"  On  the  shoot.  On  the  shoulder.  On  the  fight,  you  un- 
derstand. He  didn't  give  a  continental  for  a/nyhodij.  Beg  your 
pardon,  friend,  for  coming  so  near  saying  a  cuss-word-^-but  you 
see  I'm  on  an  awful  strain,  in  this  palaver,  on  account  of  hav* 
ing  to  cramp  down  and  draw  everything  so  mild.  Eut  we've 
got  to  -give  him  up.  There  ain't  any  getting  around  that,  I 
don't  reckon.     Now  if  we  can  get  you  to  help  plant  him — " 

"  Preach  the  funeral  discourse  ?    Assist  at  the  obsequies  ? " 

"  Obs'quies  is  good.  Yes.  That's  it — -that's  our  little 
game.  "We  are  going  to  get  the  thing  up  regardless,  you 
know.  He  was  always  nifty  himself,  and  so  you  bet  you  his 
funeral  ain't  going  to  be  no  slouch — solid  silver  door-plate  on 
his  coffin,  six  plumes  on  the  hearse,  and  a  nigger  on  the  box  in 
a  biled  shirt  and  a  plug  hat — ^how's  that  for  high  ?  And  we'U 
take  care  oiyou,  pard.  We'll  fix  you  all  right.  Tliere'U  be  a 
kerridge  for  you  j  and  whatever  you  want,  you  just  'scape  out 
and  we'U  'tend  to  it.  "We've  got  a  shebang  fixed  up  for  you  to 
stand  behind,  in  No.  I's  house,  and  don't  you  be  ajfraid.  Just 
go  in  and  toot  your  horn,  if  you  don't  sell  a  clam.  Put  Buck 
through  as  bully  as  you  can,  pard,  for  anybody  that  knowed 
him  will  tell  you  that  he  was  one  of  the  whitest  men  that  was 
ever  in  the  mines.  You  can't  draw  it  too  strong.  He  never 
could  stand  it  to  see  things  going  wrong.  He's  done  more  to 
make  this  town  quiet  and  peaceable  than  any  man  in  it.  I've 
seen  him  lick  four  Greasers  in  eleven  minutes,  myself.  If  a 
thing  wanted  regulating,  he  warn't  a  man  to  go  browsing 
around  after  somebody  to  do  it,  but  he  would  prance  in  and 
regulate  it  himself.  He  warn't  a  Catholic.  Scasely.  He  was 
down  on  'em.  His  word  was,  '  No  Irish  need  apply  I '  But  it 
didn't  make  no  diflference  about  that  when  it  came  down  to 
what  a  man's  rights  was — and  so,  when  some  roughs  jumped 
the  Catholic  bone-yard  and  started  in  to  stake  out  town-lots 
in  it  he  went  for  'em  !  And  he  cleaned  'em,  too !  I  was  there, 
pard,  and  I  seen  it  mysehf." 

'ALL    DOWN    BUT    NINE." 


"  That  was  very  well  indeed — at  least  the  impulse  was — 
whether  the  act  was  strictly  defensible  or  not.    Had  deceased 


any  religions  convictions  ?  That  is  to  say,  did  he  feel  a  de- 
pendence upon,  or  acknowledge  allegiance  to  a  higher  power  ? ' 

More  reflection. 

"  I  reckon  you've  stumped  me  again,  pard.  Could  you  say 
it  over  once  more,  and  say  it  slow  ? " 

"  Well,  to  simplify  it  somewhat,  was  he,  or  rather  had  he 
ever  been  connected  with  any  organization  sequestered  frojn 
secular  concerns  and  devoted  to  self-sacrifice  in  the  interests 
of  morality?" 

"  All  down  but  nine — set  'em  up  on  the  other  alley,  pard." 

"  What  did  I  understand  you  to  say  ? " 

"  Why,  you're  most  too  many  for  me,  you  know.  When 
you  get  in  "^th  your  left  I  hunt  grass  every  time.  Every 
time  you  draw,  you  fill ;  but  I  don't  seem  to  have  any  luck. 
Lets  have  a  new  deal." 

336  BUCK    FANSHAW   AS    A    CITIZEN. 

"  How  ?    Begin  again  ? " 

"That's  it." 

"  Very  well.    Was  he  a  good  man,  and — " 

"  There — I  see  that ;  don't  put  up  another  chip  tUl  I  look 
at  my  hand.  A  good  man,  says  you  ?  Pard,  it  ain't  no  name 
for  it.  He  was  the  best  man  that  ever — ^pard,  you  would 
have  doted  on  that  man;  He  could  lam  any  galoot  of  his 
inches  in  America.  It  was  him  that  put  down  the  riot  last 
election  before  it  got  a  start ;  and  everybody  said  he  was  the 
only  man  that  co\ild  have  done  it.  He  waltzed  in  with  a 
spanner  in  one  hand  and  a  trumpet  in  the  other,  and  sent 
fourteen  men  home  on  a  shutter  in  less  than  three  minutes.  He 
had  .that  riot  all  broke  up  and  prevented  nice  before  anybody 
ever  got  a  chance  to  strike  a  blow.  He  was  always  for  peace, 
and  he  would  have  peace — ^he  could  not  stand  disturbances. 
Pard,  he  was  a  great  loss  to  this  town.  It  would  please  the 
boys  if  you  could  chip  in  something  like  that  and  do  him  jus- 
tice. Here  once  when  the  Micks  got  to  thi-owing  stones 
through  the  Methodis'  Sunday  school  windows,  Buck  Fanshaw, 
all  of  hi^  own  notion,  shut  up  his  saloon  and  took  a  couple  of 
six-shooters  and  mounted  guard  over  the  Sunday  school.  Says 
lie,  '  No  Irish  need  apply ! '  And  they  didn't.  He  was  the 
bulliest  man  in  the  mountains,  pard  !  He  dould  run  fester, 
jump  higher,  hit  harder,  and  hold  more  tangle-foot  whisky 
without  spilling  it  than  any  man  in  seventeen  counties.  Put 
that  in,  pard — it'll  please  the  boys  more  than  anything  you 
could  say.  And  you  can  say,  pard,  that  he  never  sbook  his 

"  Never  shook  his  mother  ? " 

"  That's  it — any  of  the  boys  will  tell  you  so." 

"  Well,  but  why  should  he  shake  her  ? " 

"  That's  what  /  say — but  some  people  does." 

"  Not  people  of  any  repute  ? " 

"  Well,  some  that  averages  pretty  so-so." 

"In  my  opinion  the  man  that  would  offer  personal  vio- 
lence to  his  own  mother,  ought  to — " 

"  Cheese  it,  pard ;  you've  banked  your  .ball  clean  outside 
the  string.      What  I  was  a  drivin'  at,  was,  that  he  never 



thrmoed  off  on  his  mother — don't  you  see  ?  No  indeedy.  He 
give  her  a  house  to  live  in,  and  town  lots,  and  plenty  of  money ; 
and  he  looked  after  her  and  took  care  of  her  all  the  time ;  and 
when  she  was  down  with  the  small-pox  I'm  d — d  if  he  didn't 
set  up  nights  and  nuss  her  himself!  Beg  yoiy-  pardon  for  say- 
ing it,  but 
it  hopped 
out  too 
quick  for 
yours  tru- 
ly. You've 
treated  me 
like  a  gen- 
1 1  e  m  an  , 
pard,  and  I 
ain't  the 
man  to  hurt 
your  feel- 
ings inten- 
tional. 1 
think    you 


're    white. 

I  think  you're  a  square  man,  pard.  I  like  you,  and  I'll  lick  any 
man  that  don't.  I'll  lick  him  till  he  can't  tell  himself  from  a 
last  year's  corpse !  Put  it  tlhere  !  "  [Another  fraternal  hand- 
shake— and  exit.] 

The  obsequies  were  all  that "  the  boys  "  could  desire.  Such 
a  marvel  of  funeral  pomp  had  never  been  seen  in  Virginia.  The 
plumed  hearse,  the  dirge-breathing  brass  bands,  the  closed  marts 
of  busiaess,  the  flags  drooping  at  half  mast,  the  long,  plodding 
procession  of  uniformed  secret  societies,  military  battalions  and 
fire  companies,  draped  engines,  carriages  of  officials,  and  citi- 
zens in  vehicles  and  on  foot,  attracted  multitudes  of  spectators 
to  the  sidewalks,  roofs  and  windows ;  and  for  years  afterward, 
the  degree  of  grandeur  attained  by  any  civic  display  in  Virginia 
was  determined  by  comparison  with  Buck  Fanshaw's  funeral. 

Scotty  Briggs,  as  a  pall-bearer  and  a  mourner,  occupied  a 
prominent  place  at  the  funeral,  and  when  the  sermon  was 



finished  and  the  last  sentence  of  the  prayer  for  the  dead  man's 
soul  ascended,  he  responded,  in  a  low  voice,  but  with  feeling : 
"  Amen.    JSTo  Irish  need  apply." 

As  the  bulk  of  the  response  was  without  apparent  relevancy, 
it  was  probably  nothing  more  than  a  humble  tribute  to  the 
memory  of  the  friend  that  was  gone ;  for,  as  Scotty  had  once 
said,  it  was  "  his  word." 

'  Scotty  Briggs,  in  after  days,  achieved  the  distinction  of  be- 
coming the  only  convert  to  religion  that  was  ever  gathered 
from  the  Virginia  roughs ;  and  it  transpired  that  the  man  who 
had  it  in  him  to  espouse  the  quarrel  of  the  weak  out  of  inborn 
nobility  of  spirit  was  no  mean  timber  whereof  to  construct  a 
Christian.  The  making  him  one  did  not  warp  his  generosity 
or  diminish  his  courage ;  on  the  contrary  it  gave  intelligent 

direction  to 
the  one  and 
a  broader 
*.A  field  to  the 
i?-'^  other.  If 
his  Sunday- 
school  class 
faster  than 
the  other 
classes,  was 
it  matter  for 
wonder  ?  I 
think  not. 
He  talked  to 

his  pioneer  small-fry  in  a  language  they  understood !  It  was 
my  large  privilege,  a  month  before  he  died,  to  hear  him  tell  the 
beautiful  story  of  Joseph  and  his  brethren  to  his  class  "  with- 
out looking  at  the  book."  I  leave  it  to  the  reader  to  fancy 
what  it  was  like,  as  it  fell,  riddled  with  slang,  from  the  lips  of 
that  grave,  earnest  teacher,  and  was  listened  to  by  his  little 
learners  with  a  consuming  interest  that  showed  that  they  were 
as  unconscious  as  he  was  that  any  violence  was  being  done  to 
the  sacred  proprieties ! 



THE  first  twenty-six  graves  in  the  Virginia  cemetery  were 
occupied  by  murdered  men.  So  everybody  said,  so 
everybody  believed,  and  so  tbey  will  always  say  and  believe. 
The  reason  why  there  was  so  much  slaughtering  done,  was, 
that  in  a  new  mining  district  the  rough  element  predomi- 
nates, and  a  person  is  not  respected  until  he  has  "  killed  his 
man."     That  was  the  very  expression  used. 

If  an  unknown  individual  arrived,  they  did  not  inquire  if 
he  was  capable,  honest,  industrious,  but — ^liad  he  killed  his 
man  ?  If  he  had  not,  he  gravitated  to  his  natural  and  proper 
position,  that  of  a  man  of  small  consequence ;  if  he  had,  the 
cordiality  of  his  reception  was  graduated  according  to  the 
number  of  his  dead.  It  was  tedious  work  struggling  up  to  a 
position  of  influence  with  bloodless  hands  ;  but  when  a  man 
came  with  the.blood  of  half  a  dozen  men  on  his  soul,  his  worth 
was  recognized  at  once  and  his  acquaintance  sought. 

In  Nevada,  for  a  time,  the  lawyer,  the  editor,  the  banker, 
the  chief  desperado,  the  chief  gambler,  and  the  saloon  keeper, 
occupied  the  same  level  in  society,  and  it  was  the  highest. 
The  ehedpest  and  easiest  way  to  become  an  influential  man 
and  be  looked  up  to  by  the  community  at  large,  was  to  stand 
behind  a  bar,  wear  a  cluster-diamond  piuj  and  sell  whisky.  I . 
am  not  sure  but  that  the  saloon-keeper  held  a  shade  higher 
rank  than  any  other  member  of  society.  His  opinion  had 
weight.    It  was  his  privilege  to  say  how  the  elections  should 



go.  No  great  movement  could  succeed  without  the  counte- 
nance and  direction  of  tlie  saloon-keepers.  It  was  a  high  favor 
when  the  chief  saloon-keeper  consented  to  serve  in  the  legis- 
lature or  the ,  board  of  aldermen.     Youthfiil  ambition  hardly 


aspired  so  much  to  the  honors  of  the  law,  or  the  army  and 
navy  as  to  the  dignity  of  proprietorship  in  a  saloon. 

To  be  a  saloon-keeper  and  kill  a  man  was  to  be  illustrious. 
Hence  the  reader  will  not  be  surprised  to  learn  that  more 
than  one  man  was  killed  in  Nevada  under  hardly  the  pretext 
of  provocation,  so  impatient  was  the  slayer  tci  achieve  reputa- 
tion and  throw  off  the  galling  sense  of  being  held  in  indifferent 


repute  by  his  associates.  I  knew  two  youths  who  tried  to 
"  kill  their  nien "  for  no  other  reason-^and  got  killed  them- 
Belves  for  their  pains.  "There  goes  the  man  that  killed  Bill 
Adams  "  was  higher  praise  and  a  sweeter  sound  in  the  ears  of 
this  sort  of  people  than  any  other  speech  that  admiring  lips 
could  utter. 

The  men  who  murdered  Virginia's  original  twenty-six 
cemetery-occupants  were  never  punished.  Why?  Because 
Alfred  the  Great,  when  he  invented  trial  by  jury,  and  knew 
that  he  had  admirably  framed  it  to  secure  justice  in  his  age  of 
the  world,  was  not  aware  that  in  the  nineteenth  century  the 
condition  of  things  would  be  so  entirely  changed  that  unless 
he  rose  from  the  grave  and  altered  the  jury  plan  to  meet  the 
emergency,  it  would  prove  the  most  ingenious  and  infallible 
agency  for  defeating  justice  that  human  wisdom  could  con- 
trive. For  how  could  he  imagine  that  we  simpletons  would 
go  on  using  his  jury  plan  after  circumstances  had  stripped  it 
of  its  usefulness,  any  more  than  he  could  imagine  that  we 
would  go  on  using  his  candle-clock  after  we  had  invented 
chronometers?  In  his  day  news  could  not  travel  fast,  and 
hence  he  could  easily  find  a  jury  of  honest,  intelligent  men 
who  had  not  heard  of  the  case  they  were  called  to  try — but  in 
our  day  of  telegraphs  and  newspapers  his  plan  compels  us  to 
swear  in  jm-ies  composed  of  fools  and  rascals,  because  the 
system  rigidly  excludes  honest  men  and  men  of  brains. 

I  remember  one  of  those  sorrowful  farces,  in  Yirginia, 
which  we  call  a  jury  trial.  A  noted  desperado  killed  Mr.  B., 
a  good  citizen,  in  the  most  wanton  and  cold-blooded  way. 
Of  course  the  papers  were  full  of  it,  and  all  men  capable  of 
reading,  read  about  it.  And  of  course  all  men  not  deaf  and 
dumb  and  idiotic,  talked  about  it.  A  jury-list  was  made  out, 
and  Mr.  B.  L.,  a 'prominent  banker  and  a  valued  citizen,  was 
questioned  precisely  as  he  would  have  been  questioned  in  any 
court  in  America : 

"  Have  you  heard  of  this  homicide  ?  " 


"Have  you  held  conversations  upon  the  subject?" 




"  Have  you  formed  or  expressed  opinions  abont  it  ? " 


"Have  you  read  the  newspaper  accounts  of  it  2 " 


"We  do  not  want  you." 

A  minister,  intelligent,  esteemed,  and  greatly  respected; 
a  merchant  of  high  character  and  known  probity ;  a  mining ' 
superintendent  of  intelligence  and  unblemished  reputation  j  a 
quartz  mill  owner  of  excellent  standing,  were  all  questioned  in 
the  same  way,  and  all  set  aside.  Each  said  the  pubhc  talk  and 
the  newspaper  reports  had  not  so  biased  his  mind  but  that 
sworn  testimony  would  overthrow  his  pre\dously  formed  opin- 
ions and  enable  him  to  render  a  verdict  without  prejudice  and 
in  accordance  with  the  facts.  But  of  course  such  men  could 
not  be  trusted  with  the  case.  Ignoramuses  alone  could  mete 
out  unsullied  justice. 

When  the  peremptory  challenges  were  all  exhausted,  a  jury 
of  twelve  men  was  impaneled — a  jury  who  swore  they  had 
neither  heard,  read,  talked  about  nor  expressed  an  opinion 
concerning  a  murder  which  the  very  cattle  in  the  corrals,  the 
Indians  in  the  sage-brush  and  the  stones  in  the  streets  were 


cognizant  of !  It  was  a  jury  composed  of  two  desperadoes, 
two.  low  beer-house  politicians,  three  bar-keepers,  two  ranchmen 
who  could  not  read,  and  three  dull,  stupid,  human  donkeys ! 


It  actually  came  out  afterward,  that  one  of  these  latter  thought 
that  incest  and  arson  were  the  same  thing. 

The  verdict  rendered  by  this  jury  was,  Not  Guilty.  What 
else  could  one  expect  ? 

The  jury  system  puts  a  ban  upon  intelligence  and  honesty, 
and  a  premium  upon  ignorance,  stupidity  and  perjury.  It  is 
a  shame  that  we  must  continue  to  use  a  worthless  system  be- 
cause it  was  good  a  thousand  year^  ago.  In  this  age,  when  a 
gentleman  of  high  social  standing,  intelligence  and  probity, 
swears  that  testimony  given  under  solemn  oath  will  outweigh, 
with  him,  street  talk  and  newspaper  reports  based  upon  mere 
hearsay,  he  is  worth  a  hundred  jurymen  who  will  swear  t9 
their  own  ignorance  and  stupidity,  and  justice  would  be  faf 
safer  in  his  hands  than  in  theirs.  Why  could  not  the  jury  law 
be  so  altered  as  to  give  men  of  brains  and  honesty  an  equal 
chance  with  fools  and  miscreants?  Is  it  right  to  show  the 
present  favoritism  to  one  class  of  men  and"  inflict  a  disability 
on  another,  in  a  land  whose  boast  is  that  all  its  citizens  are 
free  and  equal  ?  I  am  a  candidate  for  the  legislature.  I  de- 
sire to  tamper  with  the  jury  law.  I  wish  to  so  alter  it  as  to 
put  a  premium  on  intelligence  and  character,  and  close  thd 
jury  box  against  idiots,  blacklegs,  and  people  who  do  not  read 
newspapers.  But  no  doubt  I  shall  be  defeated — every  effort 
I  make  to  save  the  country  "misses  fire." 

My  idea,  when  I  began  this  chapter,  was  to  say  some- 
thing about  desperadoism  in  the  "flush  times"  of  !Nevada. 
To  attempt  a  portra;jal  of  that  era  and  that  land,  and  leave 
out  the  blood  and  carnage,  would  be  like  portraying  Mormon- 
dom  and  leaving  out  polygamy.  The  desperado  stalked  the 
streets  with  a  swagger  graded  according  to  the  number  of  his 
homicides,  and  a  nod  of  recognition  from  him  was  suflicieijt 
to  make  a  humble  admirer  happy  for  the  rest  of  the  day. 
The  deference  that  w^as  paid  to  a  desperado  of  wide  reputa- 
tion, and  who  "kept  his  private  graveyard,"  as  the  phrase 
went,  was  marked,  and  cheerfully  accorded.  When  he  moved 
along  the  sidewalk  in  his  excessively  long-tailed  frock-coat, 
shiny  stump-toed    boots,  and    with  dainty  little  slouch  hat 



tipped  over  left  eye,  tlie  small-fry  roughs  made  room  for  liis 
majesty  ;  when  he  entered  the  restaurant,  the  waiters  deserted 
bankers  and  merchants  to  overwhelm  him  with  obsequious 

-  _-,  service  ;   when  he 

"^^^  L-    ,  shouldered  his  way 

to  a  bar,  the  shoul- 
dered  parties 
wheeled  indig- 
nantly, recognized 
him,  and — apolo- 
gized. They  got 
a  look  in  return 
that  froze  their 
marrow,  and  by 
that  time  a  curled 
and  breast-pinned 
bar  keeper  was 
beaming  over  the 
counter,  proud  of 
the  established  ac- 
quaintanceship that 
permitted  such  a  familiar  form  of  speech  as : 

"How  're  ye,  Billy,  old  fel«     Glad  to  see  you.    What'Il 
you  take — the  old  thing?'' 

The  "old  thing"  meant  his  customary  drink,  of  course. 
The  best  known  names  in  the  Territory  of  Nevada  were 
those  belonging  to  these  long-tailed  heroes  of  the  revolver. 
Orators,  Governors,'  capitalists  and  leaders  of  the  legislature 
enjoyed  a  degree  of  fame,  but  it  seemed  local  and  meagre  when 
contrasted  with  the  fame  of  such  men  as  Sam  Brown,  Jack 
Williams,  Billy  Mulligan,  Farmer  Pease,  Sugarfoot  Mike, 
Pock-Marked  Jake,  El  Dorado  Johnny,  Jack  Mc]S"abb,  Joe 
McGee,  Jack  Harris,  Six-fingered  Pete,  etc.,  etc.  There  was 
a  long  list  of  them.  They  were  brave,  reckless  men,  and 
traveled  with  their  lives  in  their  hands.  To  give  them  their 
due,  they  did  their  killing  principally  among  themselves,  and 



seldom  molested  peaceable  citizens,  for  they  considered  it 
small  credit  to  add  to  their  trophies  so  cheap  a  bauble  as  the 
death  of  a  man  who  was  "  not  on  the  shoot,"  as  they  phrased 
it.  They  killed  each  other  on  slight  provocation,  and  hoped 
and  expected  to  be  killed  themselves — for  they  held  it  almost 
shame  to  die  otherwise  than  "with  their  boots  on,"  as  they 
expressed  it. 

I  remember  an  instance  of  a  desperado's  contempt  for  such 
small  game  as  a  private  citizen's  life.  I  was  taking  a  late 
supper  in  a  restaurant  one  night,  with  two  reporters  and  a 
little  printer  named — Brown,  for  instance — any  name  will  do. 
Presently  a  stranger  with  a  long-tailed  coat  on  came  in,  and 
not  noticing  Brown's  'hat,  "which  was  lying  in  a  chair,  sat  down 
on  it.  Little  Brown  sprang  up  and  became  abusive  in  a 
moment.  The  stranger  smiled,  smoothed  out  the  hat,  and 
offered  it  to  Brown  with  profuse  apologies  couched  in  caustic 
sarcasm,  and  begged  Brown  not  to  destroy  him.  Brown  threw 
off  his  coat  and  challenged  the  man  to  fight — abused  him, 
threatened  him,  impeached  his  courage,  and  urged  and  even 
implored  him  to  fight;  and  in  the  meantime  the  smiling 
stranger  placed  himself  under  our  protection  in  mock  distress. 
But  presently  he  assumed  a  serious  tone,  and  said.: 

"  Very  well,  gentlemen,  if  we  must  fight,  we  must,  I  sup- 
pose. But  don't  rush  into  danger  and  then  say  I  gave  you  no 
warning.  I  am  more  than  a  match  for  all  of  you  when  I  get 
started.  I  will  give  you  proofs,  and  then  if  my  friend  here 
still  insists,  I  will  try  to  accommodate  him." 

•The  table  we  were  sitting  at  was  about  five  feet  long,  and 
unusually  cumbersome  and  heavy.  He  asked  us  to  put  our 
hands  on  the  dishes  and  hold  them  in  their  places  a  moment 
— one  of  them  was  a  large  oval  dish  with  a  portly  roast  on  it. 
Then  he  sat  down,  tilted  up  one  end  of  the  table,  set  two  of 
the  legs  on  his  knees,  took  the  end  of  the  table  between  his 
teeth,  took  his  hands  away,  and  pulled  down  with  his  teeth  till 
the  table  came  up  to  a  level  position,  dishes  and  all !  He  said 
he  could  lift  a  keg  of  nails  with  his  teeth.  He  picked  up  a 
common  glass  tumbler  and  bit  a  semi-circle  out  of  it.     Then 



he  opened  his  bosom  and  showed  us  a  net-work  of  knife  and 
bullet  scars ;  showed  us  more  on  his  arms  and  face,  and 
said  he  believed  he  had  bullets  enough  in  his  body  to  make  a 


pig  of  lead.     He  was  armed  to  the  teeth.    He  closed  with  the 

remark  that  he  was  Mr. of  Cariboo — a  celebrated  name 

whereat  we  shook  in  our  shoes.  I  would  publish  the  name, 
but  for  the  suspicion  that  he  might  come  and  carve  me.  He 
finally  inquired  if.  Brown  still  thirsted  for  blood.  Brown 
turned  the  thing  over  in  his  mind  a  moment,  and  then— asked 
him  to  supper. 

With  the  permission  of  the  reader,  I  will  group  together, 
in  the  n^xt  chapter,  some  samples  of  life  in  our  small  moun- 
tain village  in  the  old  days  of  desperadoism.  I  was  there  at 
the  time.  The  reader  will  observe  peculiarities  in  our  official 
society ;  and  he  will  observe  also,  an  instance  of  how,  in  new 
countries,  murders  breed  murders. 



N  extract  or  two  from  the  newspapers  of  the  day  will 
famish  a  photograph  that  can  need  no  embellishment : 

Fatal  Shootdtg  Affkat. — An  ajBFray  occurred,  last  evening,  in  a  billiard 
saloon  on  C  street,  between  Deputy  Marshal  Jack  Williams  and  Wm.  Brown, 
whicli  resulted  in  the  immediate  death  of  the  latter.  There  had  been  some 
difficulty  between  the  parties  for  several  months. 

An  inquest  was  immediately  held,  and  the  following  testimony  adduced : 
Officer  Geo.  Birdsall,  sworn,  says : — I  was  told  Wm.  Brown  was  drunk 
and  was  looking  for  Jack  Williams ;  so  soon  as  I  heard  that  I  started  for  the 
parties  to  prevent  a  collision ;  went  into  the  billiard  saloon ;  saw  Billy  Brown 
running  around,  saying  if  anybody  had  anything  against  him  to  show  cause  ; 
he  was  talking  in  a  boisterous  manner,  and  officer  Perry  took  him  to  the 
other  end  of  the  room  to  talk  to  him ;  Brown  came  back  to  me  ;  remarked 
to  me  that  he  thought  he  was  as  good  as  anybody,  and  knew  how  to  take 
care  of  himself ;  he  passed  by  me  and  went  to  the  bar ;  don't  know  whether 
he  drank  or  not ;  Williams  was  at  the  end  of  the  billiard-table,  next  to  the 
stairway ;  Brown,  after  going  to  the  bar,  came  back  and  said  he  was  as  good 
as  any  man  in  the  world ;  he  had  then  walked  out  to  the  end  of  the  first 
billiard-table  from  the  bar ;  I  moved  closer  to  them,  supposing  there  would 
be  a  fight ;  as  Brown  drew  his  pistol  I  caught  hold  of  it ;  he  had  fired  one 
shot  at  Williams  ;  don't  know  the  effect  of  it ;  caught  hold  of  him  with  one 
hand,  and  took  hold  of  the  pistol  and  turned  it  up ;  think  he  fired  once  after 
1- caught  hold  of  the  pistol ;  I  wrenched  the  pistol  from  him  ;  walked  to  the 
end  of  the  billiard-table  and  told  a  party  that  I  had  Brown's  pistol,  and  to 
stop  shooting ;  I  think  four  shots  were  fired  in  all ;  after  walking  out,  Mr. 
Foster  remarked  that  Brown  was  shot  dead. 

Oh,  there  was  no  excitement  about  it — ^he  merely  ^'re- 
marked "  the  small  circumstance ! 

Four  months  later  the  following  item  appeared  in  the  same 
paper  (the  Enterprise).    In  this  item  the  name  of  one  of  the 


city  officers  above  referred  to  {Deputy  Marshal  Jack   Wil^ 
liams)  occurs  again : 

EoBBBKT  AND  DESPERATE  APFRAY. — On  Tuesday  night,  a  German  named 
Charles  Hurtzal,  engineer  in  a  mill  at  Silver  City,  came  to  this  place,  and 
visited  the  hurdy-gurdy  house  on  B  street.  The  music,  dancing  and  Teu- 
tonic maidens  awakened  memories  of  Faderland  until  our  German  friend 
was  carried  away  with  rapture.  He  evidently  had  money,  and  was  spend- 
ing it  freely.  Late  in  the  evening  Jack  Williams  and  Andy  Blessington 
invited  him  down  stairs  to  take  a  cup  of  coffee.  Williams  proposed  a  game 
of  cards  and  went  up  stairs  to  procure  a  deck,  but  not  finding  any  returned. 
On  the  stairway  he  met  the  German,  and  drawing  his  pistol  knocked  him 
down  and  rifled  his  pockets  of  some  seventy  dollars.  Hurtzal  dared  give 
no  alarm,  as  he  was  told,  with  a  pistol  at  his  head,  if  he  made  any  noise  or 
exposed  them,  they  would  hlow  his  brains  out.  So  effectually  was  he 
frightened  that  he,  made  no  complaint,  until  his  friends  forced  him.  Tester- 
day  a  warrant  was  issued,  but  the  culprits  had  disappeared. 

This  efficient  city  officer,  Jack  "Williams,  had  the  common 
reputation  of  being  a  burglar,  a  highwayman  and  a  desperado. 
It  was  said  tliat  he  had  several  times  drawn  his  revolver  and 
levied  money  contributions  on  citizens  at  dead  of  night  in  the 
public  streets  of  Virginia. 

Five  months  after  the  above  item  appeared,  "Williams  was 
assassinated  while  sitting  at  a  card  table  one  night ;  a  gun  was 
thrust  through  the  crack  of  the  door  and  "Williams  dropped 
from  his  chair  riddled  with  balls.  It  was  said,  at  the  time, 
that  Williams  had  been  for  some  time  aware  that  a  party 
of  his  own  sort  (desperadoes)  had  sworn  away  his  life ;  and 
it  was  generally  believed  among  the  people  that  "Williams's 
friends  and  enemies  would  make  the  assassination  memorable — 
and  useful,  too — by  a  wholesale  destruction  of  each  other.* 

*  However,  one  prophecy  was  verified,  at  any  rate.  It  was  asserted  by 
the  desperadoes  that  one  of  their  brethren  (Joe  McGee,  a  special  policeman) 
was  known  to  be  the  conspirator  chosen  by  lot  to  assassinate  Williams ;  and 
they  also  asserted  that  doom  had  been  pronounced  against  McGee,  and  that 
he  would  be  assassinated  in  exactly  the  same  manner  that  had  been  adopted 
for  the  destruction  of  Williams — a  prophecy  which  came  true  a  year  later. 
After  twelve  months  of  distress  (for  McGee  saw  a  fancied  assassin  in  every 
man  that  approached  him),  he  made  the  last  of  many  efforts  to  get  out  of 
the  country  unwatched.  He  went  to  Carson  and  sat  down  in  a  saloon  to 
wait  for  the  stage — it  would  leave  at  four  in  the  morning.    But  as  the  night 

PURSUING    A    VICTIM.  349 

It  did  not  so  happen,  but  still,  times  were  not  dull  during  the 
next  twenty-four  hours,  for  within  that  time  a  woman  was  killed 
by  a  pistol  shot,  a  man  was  brained  with  a  slung  shot,  and  a 
man  named  Reeder  was  also  disposed  of  permanently.  Some 
matters  in  the  Enterprise  account  of  the  killing  of  Eeeder  are 
worth  noting — especially  the  accommodating  complaisance  of  a 
Yirginia  justice  of  the  peace.  The  italics  in  the  following  nar- 
rative are  mine : 

Moke  Cutting  and  SHOOTiNa. — Tlie  devil  eeems  to  have  again  broken 
loose  in  our  town.  Pistols  and  guns  explode  and  knives  gleam  in  our  sti'eets 
as  in  early  times.  When  there  has  been  a  long  season  of  quiet,  people  are 
Blow  to  wet  their  hands  in  blood;  but  once  blood  is  spilled,  cutting  and 
shooting  come  easy.  Night  before  last  Jack  Williams  was  assassinated, 
and  yesterday  forenoon  we  ^  had  more  bloody  work,  growing  out  of  the  kill- 
ing of  Williams,  and  on  the  same  street  in  Which  he  met  his  death.  It 
appears  that  Tom  Eeeder,  a  friend  of  Williams,  and  George  Gumbert  were 
talking,  at  the  meat  market  of  the  latter,  about  the  killing  of'  Williams  the 
previous  night,  when  Reeder  said  it  was  a  most  cowardly  act  to  shoot  a  man 
in  such  a  way,  giving  him  "  no  show."  Gumbert  said  that  Williams  had 
"  as  good  a  show  as  he  gave  Billy  Brown,"  meaning  the  man  killed  by  Wil- 
liams last  March.  Eeeder  said  it  was  a  d — d  lie,  that  Williams  had  no  show 
at  all.  At  this,  Gumbert  drew  a  knife  and  stabbed  Reeder,  cutting  him  in 
two  places  in  the  back.  One  stroke  of  the  knife  cut  into  the  sleeve  of 
Reader's  coat  and  passed  downward  in  a  slanting  direction  through  his 
clothing,  and  entered  his  body  at  the  small  of  the  back ;  another  blow 
struck  more  squarely,  and  made  a  much  more  dangerous  wound.  Gumbert 
gave  himself  up  to  the  officers  of  justice,  and  was  shortly  after  discharged 
by  Justice  AtwiU,  on  Ms  own  recognizance,  to  appear  for  trial  at  six  o'clock 
in  the  evening.  In  the  meantime  Reeder  had  been  taken  into  the  office  of 
Dr.  Owens,  where  his  wounds  were  properly  dressed.  One  of  Ids  wounds  was 
eonaidered  quite  dangerous,  and  it  was  thought  iy  many  that  it  would  prom 

waned  and  the  crowd  thinned,  he  grew  uneasy,  and  told  the  bar-keeper  that 
assassins  were  on  his  track.  The  bar-keeper  told  him  to  stay  in  the  middle 
of  the  room,  then,  and  not  go  near  the  door,  or  the  window  by  the  stove. 
But  a  fatal  fascination  seduced  him  to  the  neighborhood  of  the  stove  every 
now  and  then,  and  repeatedly  the  bar-keeper  brought  him  back  to  the  middle 
of  the  room  and  warned  him  to  remain  there.  But  he  could  not.  At  three  in 
the  morning  he  again  returned  to  the  stove  and  sat  down  by  a  stranger.  Be- 
fore the  bar-keeper  could  get  to  him  -Hjith  another  warning  whisper,  some 
one  outside  fired  through  the  window  and  riddled  McGee's  breast  with 
slugs,  killing  him  almost  instantly.  By  the  same  discharge  the  stranger  at 
McGee's  side  also  received  attentions  which  proved  fatal  in  the  course  ol 
two  or  three  days. 

350  A    STEEET    FIGHT. 

fataX.  But  being  considerably  under  the  influence  of  liquor,  Beeder  did  not 
feel  his  wounds  as  he  otherwise  would,  and  he  got  up  and  went  into  the  street 
He  went  to  the  meat  market  and  renewed  his  quarrel  with  Gumbert,  threat- 
ening his  life.  Friends  tried  to  interfere  to  put  a  stop  to  the  quarrel  and 
get  the  parties  away  from  each  other.  In  the  Fashion  Saloon  Reeder  made 
threats  against  the  life  of  Gumbert,  saying  he  would  kill  him,  and  it  is 
said  that  7ie  requested  the  officers  not  to  arrest  Gumbert,  as  h^  intended  to  kill 
him.  ^  After  these  threats  Gumbert  went  off  and  procured  a  double-barreled 
shot  gun,  loaded  with  buck-shot  or  revolver  balls,  and  went  after  Reeder. 
Two  or  three  persons  were  assisting  him  along  the  street,  trying  to  get  him 
home,  and  had  him  just  in  front  of  the  store  of  Klopstock  &  Harris,  when 
Gumbert  came  across  toward  him  from  the  opposite  side  of  the  street  with 
his  gun.  He  came  up  within  about  ten  or  fifteen  feet  of  Reeder,  and  called  out 
to  those  with  him  to  "  look  out !  get  out  of  the  way  1 "  and  they  had  only  time  to 
heed  the  warning,  when  he  fired.  Reeder  was  at  the  time  attempting  to  screen 
himself  behind  a  large  cask,  which  stood  against  the  awning  post  of  Klop- 
stock &  Harris's  store,  but  some  of  the  balls  took  effect  in  the  lower  part  of 
his  breast,  and  he  reeled  around  forward  and  fell  in  front  of  the  cask.  Gum- 
bert then  raised  his  gun  and  fired  the  second  barrel,  which  missed  Reeder 
and  entered  the  ground.  At  the  time  that  this  occurred,  there  were  a  great 
many  persons  on  the  street  in  the  vicinity,  and  a  number  of  them  called  out 
to  Gumbert,  when  they  saw  him  raise  his  gun,  to  "  hold  on,"  and  "  don't 
shoot ! "  The  cutting  took  place  about  ten  o'clock  and  the  shooting  about 
twelve.  After  the  shooting  the  street  was  instantly  crowded  with  the  in- 
habitants of  that  part  of  the  town,  some  appearing  much  excited  and  laugh- 
ing— declaring  that  it  looked  like  the  "  good  old  times  of  '60."  Marshal 
Perry  and  officer  BirdsaU  were  near  when  the  shooting  occurred,  and  Gum- 
bert was  immediately  arrested  and  his  gun  taken  from  him,  when  he  was 
marched  off  to  jail.  Many  persons  who  were  attracted  to  the  spot  where  this 
bloody  work  had  j  ust  taken  place,  looked  bewildered  and  seemed  to  be  asking 
themselves  what  was  to  happen  next,  appearing  in  doubt  as  to  whether  the 
killing  mania  had  reached  its  climax,  or  whether  we  were  to  turn  in  and 
have  a  grand  killing  spell,  shooting  whoever  might  have  given  us  offence. 
It  was  whispered  around  that  it  was  not  all  over  yet — five  or  six  more  were 
to  be  killed  before  night.  Reeder  was  taken  to  the  Virginia  City  Hotel, 
and  doctors  called  in  to  examine  his  wounds.  They  found  that  two  or  three 
balls  had  entered  his  right  side;  one  of  them  appeared  to  have  passed 
thrftugh  the  substance  of  the  lungs,  while  another  passed  into  the  liver. 
Two  balls  were  also  found  to  have  struck  one  of  his  legs.  As  some  of  the 
balls  struck  the  cask,  the  wounds  in  Reeder's  leg  were  probably  from  these, 
glancing  downwards,  though  they  might  have  been  caused  by  the  second 
shot  fired.  After  being  shot,  Reeder  said  when  he  got  on  his  feet — smiling 
as  he  spoke — "  It  will  take  better  shooting  than  that  to  kill  me."  The  doc- 
tors consider  it  almost  impossible  for  him  to  recover,  but  as  he  has  an 
excellent  constitution  he  may  survive,  notwithstanding  the  number  and 
dangerous  character  of  the  wounds  he  has  received.     The  town  appears  to 



be  perfectly  quiet  at  present,  as  though  the  late  stormy  times  had  cleared 
our  moral  atmosphere ;  but  who  can  tell  in  what  quarter  clouds  are  lowering 
or  plots  ripening  ? 

Eeeder — or  at  least  what  was  left  of  him — survived  his 
wounds  two  days !     Nothing  was  ever  done  with  Gumbert. 

Trial  by  jury  is  the  palladium  of  our  Liberties.  I  do  not 
know  what  a  palladium  is,  having  never  seen  a  palladium,  but 
it  is  a  good  thing  no  doubt  at  any  rate.  Not  less  than  a  hun- 
dred men  have  been  murdered  in  Nevada — perhaps  I  would 
be  within  bounds  if  I  said  three  hundred — and  as  far  as  I  can 
learn,  only  two  persons  have  suffered  the  death  penalty  there. 
However,  four  or  five  who  had  no  money  and  no  political  influ- 
ence have  been  punished  by  imprisonment — one  languished  in 
prison  as  much  as  eight  months,  I  think.  However,  I  do  not 
desire  to  be  extravagant — it  may  have  been  lees. 


THESE  murder  and  jury  statistics  remind  me  of  a  certain 
very  extraordinary  trial  and  execution  of  twenty  years 
ago ;  it  is  a  scrap  of  history  familiar  to  all  old  Califomians, 
and  worthy  to  be  known  by  other  peoples  of  the  earth  that 
love  simple,  straightforward  justice  unencumbered  with  non- 
sense. I  would  apologize  for  this  digression  but  for  the  fact 
that  the  information  I  am  about  to  offer  is  apology  enough  in 
itself  And  since  I  digress  constantly  anyhow,  perhaps  it  is 
as  well  to  eschew  apologies  altogether  and  thus  prevent  their 
growing  irksome. 

Capt.  Ked  Blakely — that  name  will  answer  as  well  as  any 
other  fictitious  one  (for  he  was  still  with  the  living  at  last  ao- 
eouilts,  and  may  not  desire  to'  be  famous) — sailed  ships  out  of 
the  harbor  of  San  Francisco  for  many  years.  He  was  a  stal- 
wart, warm-hearted,  eagle-eyed  veteran,  who  had  been  a  sailor 
nearly  fifty  years — a  sailor  from  early  boyhood.  He  was  a 
rough,  honest  creature,  full  of  pluck,  and  just  as  full  of  hard- 
headed  simplicity,  too.  He  hated  trifling  conventionalities — ■ 
"business"  was  the  word,  with  him.  He  had  all  a  sailor's 
vindictiveness  against  the  quips  and  quirks  of  the  law,  and 
steadfastly  believed  that  the  first  and  last  aim  and  object  of  the 
law  and  lawyers  was  to  defeat  justice. 

He  sailed  for  the  Chincha  Islands  in  command  of  a  gnano 
ship.  He  had  a  fine  crew,  but  his  negro  mate  was  his  pet — 
on  him  he  had  for  years  lavished  his  admiration  and  esteem. 
It  was  Capt.  T^ed's  first  voyage  to  the  Chinchas,  but  his  fame 
had  gone  before  him — the  fame  of  being  a  man  who  would 



figlit  at  the  dropping  of  a  handkerchief,  when  imposed  upon, 
and  would  stand  no  nonsense.  It  was  a  fame  well  earned. 
Arrived  in  the  islands,  he  found  that  the  staple  of  conversation 
was  the  exploits  of  one  Bill  Noakes,  a  bully,  the  mate  of  a 
trading  ship.  This  man  had  created  a  small  reign  of  terror 
there.  At  nine  o'clock  at  night,  Capt.  Ned,  all  alone,  was 
pacing  his  deck  in  the  starlight.  A  form  ascended  the  side, 
and  approached  him.     Capt.  Ned  said : 

"  Who  goes  there  ? " 

"  I'm  Bill  Noakes,  the  best  man  in  the  islands." 

"  "What  do  you  want  aboard  this  ship  ? " 


"I've  heard  of  Capt.  Ned  Blakely,  and  one  of  us  is  a  better 
man  than  'tother — I'll  know  which,  before  I  go  ashore." 

"You've  come  to  the  right   shop — I'm  your  man.      I'll 
learn  you  to  come  aboard  this  ship  without  an  mvite." 

He  seized  Noakes,  backed  him   against  the  mainmast, 
pounded  his  face  to  a  pulp,  and  then  threw  him  overboard. 

354  KILLING    OF    HIS    MATE. 

Noakes  was  not  convinced.  He  returned  the  tiext  nigfat^ 
got  the  pnlp  renewed,  and  went  overboard  head  first,  as  before. 
He  was  satisfied. 

A  week  after  this,  while  Noakes  was  carousing  with  a  sailor 
crowd  on  shore,  at  noonday,  Capt.  Ned's  colored  mate  came 
along,  and  Noakes  tried  to  pick  a  quarrel  with  him.  Tho 
negro  evaded  the  trap,  and  tried  to  get  away.  Noakes  fol- 
lowed him  up ;  the  negro  began  to  run  ;  Noakes  fired  on  him 
with  a  revolver  and  killed  him.  Half  a  dozen  sea-captains 
witnessed  the  whole  affair.  Noakes  retreated  to  the  small 
after-cabin  of  his  ship,  with  two  other  bullies,  and  gave  out 
that  death  would  be  the  portion  of  any  man  that  intruded 
there.  There  was  no  attempt  made  to  follow  the  villains; 
there  was  no  disposition  to  do  it,  and  indeed  very  little  thought 
of  such  an  enterprise.  There  were  no  courts  and  no  ofBcers ; 
there  was  no  government ;  the  islands  belonged  to  Peru,  and 
Peru  was  far  away;'  she  had  no  official  representative  on  the 
.ground;  and  neither  had  any  other  nation. 

However,  Capt.  jf^ed  was  not  perplexing  his  head  about 
such  things.  They  concerned  him  not.  He  was  boiling  with 
rSge  and  furious  for  justice.  At  nine  o'clock  at  night  he 
loaded  a  double-barreled  gun  with  slugs,  fished  out  a  pair  of 
handcuffs,  got  a  ship's  lantern,  summoned  his  quartermaster, 
and  went  ashore.     Ke  said : 

"  Do  you  see  that  ship  there  at  the  dock? " 

"Ay-ay,  sir." 

"  It's  the  Venus." 

"  Ay-ay,  sir." 

"  You — ^you  know  jn^." 

"Ay-ay,  sir." 

"  Very  well,  then.  Take  the  lantern.  Carry  it  just  under 
your  chin.  I'll  walk  behind  you  and  rest  this  gun-barrel  on 
your  shoulder,  p'inting  forward — so.  Keep  your  lantern  well 
up,  so's  I  can  see  things  ahead  of  you  good.  I'm  going  to  march 
in  on  Noakes — and  take  him — and  jug  the  other  chaps.  If 
you  flinch — well,  you  know  meP 

"Ay-ay,  sir." 


In  this  order  they  tiled  aboard  softly,  arrived  at  Noakes's 
den,  the  quartermaster  pushed  tlie  door  open,  and  the  lantern 
revealed  the  three  desperadoes  sitting  on  the  floor.  Capt. 
-Ned  said: 

"I'm  Ned  Blakely.     I've  got  you  under  fire.     Don't  you 




*»>  \ 

f::2,^^U^  I 


move  without  orders — any  of  you.  You  two  kneel  down  in  the 
corner ;  faces  to  the  wall — now.  Bill  Noakes,  put  these  hand- 
cuffs on ;  now  come  up  close.  Quartermaster,  fasten  'em.  All 
right.  Don't  stir,  sir.  Quartermaster,  put  the  key  in  the  out- 
side of  the  door.  Now,  men,  I'm  going  to  lock  you  two  in  ; 
and  if  you  try  to  burst  through  this  door — well,  you've  heard 
of  me.  Bill  Noakes,  fall  in  ahead,  and  march.  All  set. 
Quartermaster,  lock  the  door." 

Noakes  spent  the  night  on  board  Blakely's  ship,  a  prisoner 
under  strict  guard.  Early  in  the  morning  Capt.  Ned  called  in 
all  the  sea-captains  in  the  harbor  and  invited  them,  with  nauti- 
cal ceremony,  to  be  present  on  board  his  shij)  at  nine  o'clock  to 
witness  the  hanging  of  Noakes  at  the  yard-arm ! 


"  What !    The  man  has  not  been  tried." 

"  Of  course  he  hasn't.     But  didn't  he  kill  the  nigger  ? " 

"  Certainly  he  did ;  but  you  are  not  thinking  of  hanging 
liim  without  a  trial  ? " 

"  Irial !  What  do  I  want  to  try  him  for,  if  he  killed  the 
nigger  ? " 

"  Oh,  Capt.  Ned,  this  will  never  do.  Think  how  it  will 

"  Sound  be  hanged !     DidrCt  he  hill  the  nigger  ?  " 

"  Certainly,  certainly,  Capt.  Nedj^-^nobody  denies  that, — 

"  Then  I'm  going  to  hang  him,  that's  all.  Everybody  I've 
talked  to  talks  just  the  same  way  you  do.  Everybody  says  he 
killed  the  nigger,  everybody  knows  he  killed  the  nigger,  and  yet 
every  lubber  of  you  wants  him  tried  for  it.  I  don't  understand 
such  bloody  foolishness  as  that.  Tried !  Mind  you,  I  don't 
object  to  trying  him,  if  it's  got  to  be  done  to  give  satisfaction ; 
?,nd  I'll  be  there,  and  chip  in  and  help,  too ;  but  put  it  off  till 
afternoon — put  it  off  till  afternoon,  for  I'll  have  my  hands 
middling  full  till  after  the  burying^ " 

"  Why,  what  do  you  mean  ?  Are  you  going  to  hang  him 
«my  how — and  try  him  afterward  ? " 

"Didn't  I  say  I  was  going  to  hang  him?  I  never  saw 
such  people  as  you.  What's  the  difference  ?  You  ask  a  favor, 
and  then  you  ain't  satisfied  when  you  get  it.  Before  or  after 's 
all  one — you  know  how  the  trial  will  go.  He  killed  the 
nigger.  Say — I  must  be  going.  If  your  mate  would  like  to 
come  to  the  hanging,  fetch  him  along.     I  like  him." 

There  was  a  stir  in  the  camp.  The  captains  came  in  a 
body  and  pleaded  with  Capt.  Ned  not  to  do  this  rash  thing. 
They  promised  that  they  would  create  a  court  composed  of 
captains  of  the  best  chara,cter;  they  would  empanel  a  jury; 
they  would  conduct  everything  in  a  way  becoming  the  serious 
nature  of  the  business  in  hand,  and  give  the  case  an  impartial 
hearing  and  the  accused  a  fair  trial.  And  they  said  it  would 
be  murder,  and  pilnishable  by  the  American  courts  if  he  per- 
sisted and  hung  the  accused  on  his  ship.  They  pleaded  hard. 
Capt.  Ned  said : 

BILL    NOAKES    IS    TKIED.  357 

"  Gentlemen,  I'm  not  stubborn  and  I'm  not  unreasonable. 
I'm  always  willing  to  do  just  as  near  right  as  I  can,  How 
long  will  it  take  ? " 

"  Probably  only  a  little  while." 

"  And  can  I  take  bim  up  tbe  shore  and  hang  him  as  soon 
as  you  are  done  ? " 

"  If  he  is  proven  guilty  he  shall  be  hanged  without  un- 
necessary delay." 

'  '■'■  If  he's  proven  guilty.     Great  Neptune,  airCt  he  guilty? 
This  beats  my  time. ,  Why  you  all  Icnow  he's  guilty." 

But  at  last  they  satisfied  him  that  they  were  projecting 
nothing  underhanded.     Then  he  said : 

"  Well,  all  right.  You  go  on  and  try  him  and  I'll  go  dowil 
and  overhaul  his  conscience  and  prepare  him  to  go — like 
enough  he  needs  it,  and  I  don't  want  to  send  him  off  without 
a  show  for  hereafter." 

This  was  another  obstacle.  They  finally  convinced  him, 
that  it  was  necessary  to  have  the  accused  in  court.  Then  they 
said  they  would  send  a  guard  to  bring  him. 

"  No,  sir,  I  prefer  to  fetch  him  myself — he  don't  get  out  of 
WA)  hands.  Besides,  I've  got  to  go  to  the  ship  to  get  a  rope, 

■  The  court  assembled  with  due  ceremony,  empaneled  a  jury, 
and  presently  Capt.  Ned  entered,  leading  the  prisoner  with 
one  hand  and  carrying  a  Bible  and  a  rope  in  the  otlier.  He 
seated  himself  by  the  side  of  his  captive  and  told  the  court  to 
"  up  anchor  and  make  sail.''  Then  he  turned  a  searching  eye 
on  the  jury,  and  detected  ISToakes's  friends,  the  two  bullies.' 
He  strode  over  and  said  to  them  confidentially : 

"  Tou're  liere  to  interfere,  you  see.  Now  you  vote  right, 
do  you  hear? — or  else  there'll  be  a  doxible-barreled  inquest 
here  when  this  trial's  off,  and  your  remainders  will  go  home 
in  a  couple  of  baskets." 

Tlie  caution  was  not  without  fruit.  The  jury  was  a  unit 
—the  verdict,  "  Guilty." 

Capt.  Nod  spnmg  to  his  feet  and  said  : 

"Come  along^you're  my  meat    now^  mj  lad,  anyway,' 



Gentlemen  you've  done  yourselves  proud.  I  invite  you  all  to 
come  and  see  that  I  do  it  all  straight.  Follow  me  to  the 
canyon,  a  mile  above  here." 

The  court  informed  him  that  a  sheriff  had  been  appointed 
to  do  the  lianging,  and — 

Oapt.  Ned's  patience  was  at  an  end.  His  wrath  was 
boundless.     The  subject  of  a  sheriff  was  judiciously  dropped. 

When  the  crowd  arrived  at  the  canyon,  Capt.  Ned  climbed 
a  tree  and  arranged  the  halter,  then  came  down  and  noosed  his 
man.  He  opened  his  Bible,  and  laid  aside  his  hat.  Selecting 
a  chapter  at  random,  he  read  it  through,  in  a  deep  bass  voice 

and  with  sincere 


The^  he 

"  Lad,  you  are 
about  to  go  aloft  and 
give  an  account  of 
yourself ;  and  the 
lighter  a  man's  man- 
ifest is,  as  far  as  sin's 
concerned,  the  better 
for  him.  Make  a 
I  clean  breast,  man, 
I  and  carry  a  log  with 
you  that'll  bear  in- 
spection. You  killed 
the  nigger  ? " 

No    reply.       A 
long  pause. 

I .       The  captain  read 

another     chapter, 
pausing,  from    time  to  time,  to  impress  the   effect.      Then 
he  talked  an  earnest,  persuasive  sermon  to  him,  and  ended 
by  repeating  the  question  : 
"  Did  you  kill  the  nigger  ? " 

No  reply — other  than  a  malignant  scowl.      The  captain 
now  read  the  first  and  second  chapters  of  Genesis,  with  deep 




feeling — ^paused  a  moment,  closed  the  book  reverently,  and 
eaid  with  a  perceptible  savor  of  satisfaction  : 

"  There.  Four  chapters.  There's  few  that  would  have 
took  the  pains  with  you  that  I  have." 

Then  he  swung  up  the  condemned,  and  made  the  rope  fast ; 
stood  by  and  timed  him  half  an  hour  with  his  watch,  and  then 
delivered  the  body  to  the  court.  A  little  after,  as  he  stood 
contemplating  the  motionless  figure,  a  doubt  came  into  his 
face ;  evidently  he  felt  a  twinge  of  conscience-:-a  misgiving — 
and  he  said  with  a  sigh  : 

"  Well,  p'raps  I  ought  to  burnt  him,  maybe.  But  I  was 
trying  to  do  for  the  best." 

When  the  history  of  this  affair  reached  California  (it  was 
in  the  "  early  days")  it  made  a  deal  of  talk,  but  did  not  di- 
minish the  captain's  popularity  in  any  degree.  It  increased  it, 
indeed.  California  had  a  population  then  that  "  inflicted  "  juiS- 
tice  after  a  fashion  that  was  simplicity  and  primitiveness  itself, 
and  could  therefore  admire  appreciatively  when  the  same 
fashion  was  followed  elsewhere. 


YICE  flourished  luxuriantly  during  the  hey-day  of  our 
"  flush  times."  The  saloons  were  overburdened  with 
custom ;  so  were  the  police  courts,  the  gambling  dens,  the 
brothels  and  the  jails — unfailing  signs  of  high  prosperity  in  a 
mining  region — in  any  region  for  that  matter.  Is  it  not  so  ? 
A  crowded  police  court  docket  is  the  surest  of  all  signs 
that  trade  is  brisk  and  money  plenty.  Still,  there  is  one  other 
sign ;  it  comes  last,  but  when  it  does  come  it  establishes  be- 
yond cavil  that  the  "flush  times"  are  at  the  flood.  This  is  the 
birth  of  the  "literary"  paper.  The  Weekly.  Occidental,  "de- 
voted to  literature,"  made  its  appearance  in  Virginia.  All  the 
literary  people  wer6  engaged  to  write  for  it.  Mr.  F.  was  to 
edit  it.  He  was  a  felicitous  skirmisher  with  a  pen,  and  a  man 
who  could  say  happy  things  in  a  crisp,  neat  way.  Once,  while 
editor  of  the  Union,  he  had  disposed  of  a  labored,  incoherent, 
two-column  attack  made  upon  him  by  a  cotemporary,  with  a 
single  line,  which,  at  first  glance,  seemed  to  contain  a  solemn 
and  tremendous  compliment — viz. :     "  The  logic  of  oue  ad- 

VEESAEY    EBSEMBLES   THE   PEACE   OF    GoD," and  left   it   tO   the 

reader's  memory  and  after-thought  to  invest  the  remark  with 
another  and  "more  different"  meaning  by  supplying  for  him- 
self and  at  his  own  leisure  the  rest  of  the  Scripture — "  in  that 
it  passeth  understanding P  He  once  said  of  a  little,  half- 
starved,  wayside  community  that  had  no  subsistence  except 
what  they  could  get  by  preying  upon  chance  passengers  who 
stopped  over  with  them  a  day  when  traveling  by  the  overland 
stage,  that  in  their  Church  service  they  had  altered  the  Lord's 
Prayer  to  read  :     "  Give  us  this  day  our  daily  stranger ! " 



We  expected  great  tilings  of  the  Occidental.  Of  course  it 
could  not  get  along  without  an  original  novel,  and  so  we  made 
arrangements  to  hurl  into  the  work  the  full  strength  of  the 
company.  Mrs.  F.  was  an  able  romancist  of  the  ineffable 
school — I  know  no  other  name  to  apply  to  a  school  whose 
heroes  are  all  dainty  and  all  perfect.  She  wrote  the  opening 
chapter,  and  introduced  a  lovely  blonde  feimpleton  Avho  talked 
nothing  but  pearls  and  poetry  and  who  was  virtuous  to  the 
verge  of  eccentricity.  She  also  introduced  a  yoiing  French 
Duke  of  aggravated  refinement,  in  love  with  the  blonde, 
Mr.  F.  followed  next  week,  with  a  brilliant  lawyer  who  set 
about  getting  the  Duke's  estates  into  trouble,  and  a  sparkling 
young  lady  of  high  society  who  fell  to  fascinating  the  Duke 
and  impairing  the  appetite  of  the  blonde.  Mr.  D.,  a  dark  and 
bloody  editor  of  one  of  the  dailies,  followed  Mr.  F.,  the  third 


week,  introducing  a  mysterious  Koscicrucian  who  transmuted 
metals,  held  consultations  with  the  devil  in  a  cave  at  dead  of 
night,  and  cast  the  hoi'oscope  of  the  several  heroes  and  heroines 
in  such  a  way  as  to  provide  plenty  of  trouble  for  their  future 
careers  and  breed  a  solemn  and  awful  public  interest  in  the 
novel.    He  also  introduced  a  cloaked  and  masked  melodrar 


matic  miscreant,  put  him  on  a  salary  and  set  him  on  the  mid- 
night tract  of  the  Duke  with  a  poisoned  dagger.  He  also 
created  an  Irish  coachman  with  a  rich  brogue  and  placed  him 
in  the  service  of  the  society-young-lady  with  an  ulterior  mis- 
sion to  carry  billet-doux  to  the  Duke. 

About  this  time  there  arrived  in  Yirginia  a  dissolute  stran- 
ger with  a  literary  turn  of  mind — ^rather  seedy  he  was,  but 
very  quiet  and  unassuming ;  almost  diffident,  indeed.  He  was 
so  gentle,  and  his  manners  were  so  pleasing  and  kindly, 
whether  he  was  saber  or  intoxicated,  that  he  made  friends  of 

all  who  came  in  contact  with 
him.  He  applied  for  literary 
work,  offered  conclusive  ev- 
idence that  he  wielded  an 
easy  and  practiced  pen,  and 
so  Mr.  F.  engaged  him  at 
once  to  help  write  the  novel. 
His  chapter  was  to  follow 
Mr.  D.'s,  and  mine  was  to 
come  next.  Now  what  does 
this  fellow'So  but  go  off  and 
get  drunk  'and  then  proceed 
to  his  quarters  and  set  to 
woi;k  with  his  imagination 
in  a  state  of  chaos,  and  that 
chaos  in  a  condition  of  ex- 
travagant activity.  The  re- 
sult may  be  guessed.  He 
scanned  the  chapters  of  his 
predecessors,  found  plenty 
of  heroes  and  heroines  al- 
ready created,  and  was  satisfied  with  them ;  he  decided  to  in- 
troduce no  more ;  with  all  the  confidence  that  whisky  inspires 
and  all  the  easy  complacency  it  gives  to  its  servant,  he  then 
launched  himself  lovingly  into  his  work :  he  married  the 
coachman  to  the  society-young-lady  for  the  sake  of  the  scandal ; 
married  the  Duke  to  the  blonde's  steptaother,  for  the  sake  of 
the  sensation  ;  stopped  the  desperado's  salary ;  created  a  mis- 


"WAR    AMONG    THE    NOVELISTS.  363 

undierstanding  between  the  devil  and  the  Roscicriicaan ;  threw 
the  Duke's  property  into  the  wicked  lawyer's  hands  ;  made  the 
lawyer's  upbraiding  conscience  drive  him  to  drink,  thence  to 
delirium  tremens',  thence  to  suicide;  broke  the  coachman's 
neck  ;  let  his  widow  succumb  to  contumely,  neglect,  poverty 
and  consumption  ;  caused  the  blonde  to  drown  herself,  leaving 
her  clothes  on  the  bank  with  the  customary  note  pinned  to 
them  forgiving  the  Duke  and  hoping  he  would  be  happy ;  re- 
vealed to  the  Duke,  by  means  of  the  usual  strawberry  mark 
on  left  arm,  that  he  had  married  his  own  long-lost  mother  and 
destroyed  his  long-lost  sister  ;  instituted  the  proper  and  neces- 
sary suicide  of  the  Duke  and  the  Duchess  in  order  to  compass 
poetical  justice;  opened  the  earth  and  let  the  Roscicrucian 
through,  accompanied  with  the  accustomed  smoke  and  thunder 
and  smell  of  brimstone,  and  finished  with  the  promise  that  in 
the  next  chapter,  after  holding  a  general  inquest,  he  would  take 
up  the  surviving  character  of  the  novel  and  tell  what  became 
of  the  devil ! 

It  read  with  singular  smoothness,  and  with  a  "dead" 
earnestness  that  was  funny  enough  to  suffocate  a  body. 
But  there  was  war  when  it  came  in.  The  other  novelists 
were  .furious.  -The  mild  stranger,  not  yet  more  than 
half  sober,  stood  there,  under  a  scathing  fire  of  vitupera- 
tion, meek  and  bewildered,  looking  from  one  to  another  of  his 
assailants,  and  wondering  what  he  could  have  done  to  invoke 
such  a  storm.  When  a  lull  came  at  last,  he  said  his  say  gently 
and  appealingly — said  he  did  not  rightly  remember  what  he 
had  written,  but  was  sure  he  had  tried  to  do  the  best  he 
could,  and  knew  his  object  had  been  to  make  the  novel  not 
only  pleasant  and  plausible  but  instructive  and — 

The  bombardment  began  again.  The  novelists  assailed  his 
ill-chosen  adjectives  and  demolished  them  with  a  storm  of 
denunciation  and  ridicule.  And  so  the  siege  went  on.  Every 
time  the  stranger  tried  to  appease  the  enemy  he  only  made 
matters  worse.  Finally  he  ofiered  to  rewrite  the  chapter. 
This  arrested  hostilities.  The  indignation  gradually  quieted 
down,  peace  reigned  again  and  the  sufierer  retired  in  safety 
and  got  him  to  his  own  citadel. 


But  on  the  way  thither  the  evil  angel  tempted  him  and  he 
got  drunk  again.  And  again  his  imagination  went  mad.  He  led 
the  heroes  and  heroines  a  wilder  dance  than  ever ;  and  yet  aU 
through  it  ran  that  same  convincing  air  of  honesty  and  earnest- 
ness that  had  marked  his  first  work.  He  got  the  characters 
into  the  most  extraordinary  situations,  put  them  through- the 
most  surprising  performances,  and  made  them  talk  the  strangest 
talk !  But  the  chapter  cannot  be  described.  It  was  symmet- 
rically crazy ;  it  was  artistically  absurd ;  and  it  had  explana- 
tory footnotes  that  were  fully  as  curious  as  the  text.  I  remember 
one  of  the  "  situations,"  and  will  offer  it  as  an  example  of  the 
whole.  He  altered  the  charactei*  of  the  brilliant  lawyer,  and  ■ 
made  him  a  great-hearted,  splendid  fellow ;  gave  him  fame  and 
riches,  aiid  set  his  age  at  thirty-three  years.  Then  ho  made 
tl^e  blonde  discover,  through  the  help  of  the  Koscicrueian  and 
the  melodramatic  miscreant,  that  while  the  Duke  loved  her 
money  ardently  and  wanted  it,  he  secretly  felt  a  sort  of  lean- 
ing toward  the  society-young-lady.  Stung  to  the  quick,  she 
tore  her  affections  from  him  and'  bestowed  them  with  tenfold 
power  upon  the  lawyer,  who  responded  with  consuming  zeal. 
But  the  parents  would  none  of  it.  What  they  wanted  in  the 
family  was  a  Duke  ;  and  a  Duke  they  were  determined  to  have ; 
though  they  confessed  that  next  to  the  Duke  the  lawyer  had 
their  preference.  Necessarily  the  blonde  now  went  into  a  de- 
cline. The  parents  were  alarmed.  They  pleaded  with  her  to 
marry  the  Duke,  but  she  steadfastly  refused,  and  pined  on. 
Then  they  laid  a  plan.  They  told  her  to  wait  a  year  and  a 
day,  and  if  at  the  end  of  that  time  she  still  felt  that  she  could 
not  marry  the  Duke,  she  might  inarry  the  lawyer  with  their 
full  consent.  The  result  was  as  they  had  foreseen  :  gladness 
came  again,  and  the  flush  of  returning  health.  Then  the 
parents  took  the  next  step  in  their  scheme.  They  had  the 
family  physician  recommend  a  long  sea  voyage  and  much  land 
travel  for  the  thorough  restoration  of  the  blonde's  strength ; 
and  they  invited  the  Duke  to  be  of  the  party.  They  judged 
that  the  Duke's  constant  presence  and  the  lawyer's  protracted 
absence  would  do  the  rest — for  they  did  not  invite  the  lawyer. 

So  they  set  sail  in  a  steamer  for  America — and  the  third 


day  out,  when  tlieir  sea-sickness  called  truce  and  permitted 
them  to  take  their  first  meal  at  the  public  table,  behold  there 
sat  the  lawyer !     The  Duke  and  party  made  the  best  of  an 



awkward  situation ;  the  voyage  progressed,  and  the  vessel  neared 
America.  But,  by  and  by,  two  hundred  miles  off  New  Bed- 
ford, the  ship  took  fire ;  she  burned  to  the  water's  edge ;  of  all 
her  crew  and  passengers,  only  thirty  were  saved.  They  floated 
about  the  sea  half  an  afternoon  and  all  night  long.  Among 
them  were  our  friends.  The  lawyer,  by  superhuman  exertions, 
had  saved  the  blonde  and  her  parents,  swimming  back  and  forth 
two  hundred  yards  and  bringing  one  each  time — (the  girl  first). 
The  Duke  had  saved  himself.  In  the  morning  two  whale 
ships  arrived  on  the  scene  and  sent  their  boats.  The  weather 
was  stormy  and  the  embarkation  was  attended  with  much 
confusion  and  excitement.  .  The  lawyer  did  his  duty  like  a 
man ;  helped  his  exhausted  and  insensible  blonde,  her  parents 
and  some  others  into  a  boat  (the  Duke  helped  himself  in) ;  then 
a  child  fell  overboard  at  the  other  end  of  the  raft  and  the  law- 
yer rushed  thither  and  helped  half  a  dozen  people  fish  it  out, 
under  the  stimulus  of  its  mother's  screams.  Then  he  ran  back 
— a,  few  seconds  too  late — the  blonde's  boat  was  under  way.  So 



lie  had  to  take  the  other  boat,  and  go  to  the  other  ship.     The 
etorm  increased  and  drove  the  vessels  out  of  sight  of  each  other 


— drove  them  whither  it  wonld.  "Wlien  it  calmed,  at  the  end 
of  three  days,  the  blonde's  ship  was  seven  hundred  miles  north 
of  Boston  and  the  other  about  seven  hundred  south  of  that 
port.  The  blonde's  captain  was  bound  on  a  whaling  cruise 
in  the  North  Atlantic  and  could  not  go  back  such  a  distance 
or  make  a  port  without  orders ;  such  being  nautical  law.  The 
lawyer's  captain  was  to  cruise  in  the  North  Pacific,  and  he 
could  nQt  go  back  or  make  a  port  without  orders.  All  the  law- 
yer's money  and  baggage  were  in  the  blonde's  boat  and  went 
to  the  blonde's  ship — so  his  captain  made  him  work  his  passage 
as  a  common  sailor.  When  both  ships  had  been  cruising  nearly 
a  year,  the  one  was  off  the  coast  of  Greenland  and  the  other  in 

A  Long  fish  stoky. 


The  blonde  kad  long  ago  been  well-nigh 

Behring's  Strait.  .     _    _ 

persuaded  that  her  lawyer  had  been  washed  overboard  and 
lost  just  before  the  whale  ships  reached  the  raft,  and  now, 
under  the  pleadings  of  her  parents  and  the  Duke  she  was  at 
last  beginning  to  nerve  herself  for  the  doom  of  the  covenant. 

V    s    v.- 



'4     ^  *""     I 
J  IT 

>.      r 


J*  II 


and  prepare  for  the  hated  marriage.  But  she  would  not  yield 
a  day  before  the  date  set.  The  weeks  dragged  on,  the 
time  narrowed,  orders  were  given  to  deck  the  ship  for  the 
wedding— a  wedding  at  sea  among  icebergs  and  walruses. 
Five  days  more  and  all  would  be  over.  So  the^,blOTide 
reflected,  with  a  sigh  and  a  tear.     Oh  where  was  her  tfteflaye 

and  why,  why  did  he  not  come  and  save  her  ?    At  thai^# 

ment  he  was  lifting  his  harpoon  to  strike  a  whale  in  Behring's 
Strait,  five  thousand  miles  away,  by  the  way  of  the  Arctic 
Ocean,  or  twenty  thousand  by  the  way  of  the  Plom — that  was 
the  reason.  He  struck,  but  not  with  perfect  aim— hig  foot 
slipped  and  he  fell  in  the  whale's  mouth  and  Went  down  hia 


throat.  He  was  insensible  five  days.  Then  he  came  to  him- 
self and  heard  voices ;  daylight  was  streaming  through  a  hole 
cut  in  the  whale's  roof.  He  climbed  out  and  astonished  the 
sailors  who  were  hoisting  blubber  up  a  ship's  side.  He  rec- 
ognized the  vessel,  flew  aboard,  surprised  the  wedding  party 
at  the  altar  and  exclaimed : 

"  Stop  the  proceedings — I'm  here !  Come  to  my  arms,  my 
own ! " 

There  were  foot-notes  to  this  extravagant  piece  of  literature 
wherein  the  author  endeavored  to  show  that  the  whole  thing 
was  within  the  possibilities ;  he  said  he  got  the  incident  of  the 
whale  traveling  from  Behring's  Strait  to  the  coast  of  Green- 
land, five  thousand  miles  in  five  days,  through  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
from  Charles  Eeade's  "  Love  Me  Little  Love  Me  Long,"  and 
considered  that  that  established  the  fact  that  the  thing  could 
be  done;  and  he  instanced  Jonah's  adventure  as  proof  that  a 
man  could  live  in  a  whale's  belly,  and  added  that  if  a  preacher 
could  stand  it  three  days  a  lawyer  could  surely  stand  it  five ! 

There  was  a  fiercer  storm  than  ever  in  the  editorial  sanctum 
now,  and  the  stranger  was  peremptorily  discharged,  and  his 
manuscript  flung  at  his  head.  But  he  had  already  delayed  things 
60  much  that  there  was  not  time  for  some  one  else  to  rewrite 
the  chapter,  and  so  the  paper  came  out  without  any  novel  in  it. 
It  was  but  a  feeble,  struggling,  stupid  journal,  an4  the  abseuce 
of  the  novel  probably  shook  public  confidence;  at  any  rate, 
before  the  first  side  of  the  next  issue  went  to  press,  the  WeeMy 
Occidental  died  as  peacefully  as  an  infant. 

An  eflfoi't  was  made  to  resurrect  it,  with  the  proposed  advan- 
tage of  a  telling  new  title,  and  Mr.  F.  said  that  Tlie  Phenix 
would  be  just  the  name  for  it,  because  it  would  give  the  idea 
of  a  resurrection  from  its  dead  ashes  in  a  new  and  undreamed 
of  condition  of  splendor ;  but  some  low-priced  smarty  on  one 
of  the  dailies  suggested  that  we  call  it  the  Lazarus  ;  and  inas- 
much as  thei  people  were  not  profound  in  Scriptural  matters 
but  thought  the  resurrected  Lazarus  and  the  dilapidated  men- 
dicant that  begged  in  the  rich  man's  gateway  were  one  and  the 
same  person,  the  name  became  the  laughing  stock  of  the  town, 
and  killed  the  paper  for  good  and  all. 

MY    UNFRINTED    POEM.  369 

I  was  sorry  enough,  for  I  was  very  proud  of  being  con- 
nected with  a  literary  paper — ^prouder  than  I  have  ever  been 
of  anything  since,  perhaps.  I  had  written  some  rhymes  for  it— 
"poetry  I  considered  it — and  it  was  a  great  grief  to  me  that  the 
production  was  on  the  "  first  side  "  of  the  issue  that  was  not 
completed,  and  hence  did  not  see  the  light.  But  time  brings 
its  revenges — I  can  put  it  in  here ;  it  will  answer  in  place  of 
a  tear  dropped  to  the  memory  of  the  lost  Occidental.  The 
idea  (not  the  chief  idea,  but  the  vehicle  that  bears  it)  was 
probably  suggested  by  the  old  song  called  "The  Raging 
Canal,"  but  I  cannot  remember  now.  I  do  remember,  though, 
that  at  that  time  I  thought  my  doggerel  was  one  of  the  ablest 
poems  of  the  age : 


On  the  Erie  Canal,  it  was. 

All  on  a  summer's  day, 
I  sailed  forth  with  my  parents 

Far  away  to  Albany. 

From  out  the  clouds  at  noon  that  day 

There  came  a  dreadful  storm. 
That  piled  the  billows  high  about. 

And  filled  us  with  alarm. 

A  man  came  rushing  from  a  house. 
Saying,  "  Snub  up  *  your  boat  I  pray. 

Snub  up  your  boat,  snub  up,  alas. 
Snub  up  while  yet  you  may." 

Our  captain  cast  one  glance  astern. 

Then  forward  glanced  he. 
And  said,  "  My  wife  and  little  ones 

I  never  more  shall  see." 

Said  Dollinger  the  pilot  man. 
In  noble  words,  but  few, — 
"Fear  not,  but  lean  on  Dollinger, 
And  he  will  fetch  you  through." 

*  The  customary  canal  technicality  for  "  tie  np." 



A    TERBI-BLE    8T0EM. 

The  boat  drove  on,  the  frightened  mules 
Tore  through  the  rain  and  wind. 

And  bravely,  still,  in  danger's  post, 
The  whip-boy  strode  behind. 

"Come  'board,  come  'board,"  the  captain  cried, 
"  Nor  tempt  so  wild  a  storm ;  " 
But  still  the  raging  mules  advanced, 
Anc'  still  the  boy  strode  on. 

Then  said  the  captain  to  us  all, 

"  Alas,  'tis  plain  to  me. 
The  greater  danger  is  not  there. 

But  here  upon  the  sea. 

So  let  us  strive,  while  life  remains. 

To  save  all  souls  on  board. 
And  then  if  die  at  last  we  must. 

Let  ....  I  cannot  speak  the  word  1 " 


Said  DoUinger  the  pilot  man, 
Tow'ring  above  the  crew. 


"  Fear  not,  but  trust  in  Dollinger, 
And  he  will  fetch  you  through.'' 

"  Low  bridge !  low  bridge ! "  all  heads  went  down, 

The  laboring  bark  sped  on  ; 
A  mill  we  passed,  we  passed  a  church, 

Hamlets,  and  fields  of  corn ; 
And  all  the  world  came  out  to  see. 

And  chased  along  the  shore 


"low  bbidqe." 

Crying,  "  Alas,  alas,  the  sheeted  rain, 
The  wind,  the  tempest's  roar  I 

Alas,  the  gallant  ship  and  crew, 
Can  nothing  help  them  more?" 

And  from  our  deck  sad  eyes  looked  out 

Across  the  stormy  scene : 
The  tossing  wake  of  billows  aft, 

The  bending  forests  green, 



"The  chickens  sheltered  under  carts 

In  lee  of  barn  the  cows. 
The  skurrying  swine  with  straw  in  mouth. 

The  wild  spray  from  our  bows  I 

"  She  balances  I 
She  wavers  1 
Now  let  her  go  about ! 

If  she  misses  stays  and  broaches  to. 
We're  ail" — [then  with  a  shout,] 
"  Huray !  haray ! 
Avast !  belay  I 
Take  in  more  sail  I 
Lord,  whsrt  a  gale  ! 
Ho,  boy,  haul  taut  on  the  hind  mule's  tail  1 " 


•  Ho  I  lighten  ship !  ho  1  man  the  pump  ! 
Ho,  hostler,  heave  the  lead ! 


"  A  quarter-three ! — 'tia  slioaling  fast  I 
Three  feet  large ! — t-h-r-e-e  feet ! — ■ 
Three  feet  scant  I  "  I  cried  in  fright 
"  Oh,  is  there  no  retreat  ?  " 

Said  DoUinger,  the  pilot  man. 
As  on  the  vessel  flew, 
"  Fear  not,  but  trust  in  DoUinger, 
And  he  will  fetch  you  through." 

A  panic  struck  the  bravest  hearts. 

The  boldest  cheek  turned  pale  ; 
For  plain  to  all,  this  shoaling  said 
A  leak  had  burst  the  ditch's  bed ! 
And,  straight  as  bolt  from  crossbow  sped. 
Our  ship  swept  on,  with  slioaling  lead. 

Before  the  fearful  gale  I 

"  Sever  the  tow  line  I     Cripple  the  mules  ! " 
Too  late  I There  comes  a  shock  ! 

Another  length,  and  the  fated  craft 
Would  have  swum  in  the  saving  lock  I 

Then  gathered  together  the  shipwrecked  crew 

And  took  one  last  embrace. 
While  sorrowful  tears  from  despairing  eyes 

Kan  down  each  hopeless  face  ;    ' 
And  some  did  think  of  their  little  ones 

Whom  they  never  more  might  see. 
And  others  of  waiting  wives  at  home. 

And  mothers  that  grieved  would  be. 

But  of  all  the  children  of  misery  there 

On  that  poor  sinking  frame, 
But  one  spake  words  of  hope  and  faith. 

And  I  worshipped  as  they  canie : 
Said  DoUinger  the  pilot  man, — 

(0  brave  heart,  strong  and  true !) — 
"  Fear  not,  but  trust  in  DoUinger, 

For  he  will  fetch  you  through." 

Lo !  scarce  the  words  have  passed  his  lips 

The  dauntless  prophet  say'th. 
When  every  soul  about  him  seeth 

A  wonder  crown  his  faith ! 



And  count  ye  all,  both  great  and  small. 
As  numbered  with  the  dead! 

For  mariner  for  forty  year. 
On  Erie,  boy  and  man, 

I  never  yet  saw  Buch  a  storm, 
Or  one  't  with  it  began  ! " 

So  overboard  a  keg  of  nails 

And  anvils  three  we  threw. 
Likewise  four  bales  of  gunny-sacks. 

Two  hundred  pounds  of  glue. 
Two  sacks  of  corn,  four  ditto  wheat, 

A  box  of  books,  a  cow, 
A  violin.  Lord  Byron's  works, 

A  rip-saw  and  a  sow. 


A  curve !  a  curve !  the  dangers  grow ! 
"  Labbord ! — stabbord  ! — s-t-e-a-d-y  1 — so  !- 
Hard-apovt,  Dol ! — hellum-a-lee ! 

Haw  the  head  mule ! — the  aft  one  gee  1 
Luff! — bring  her  to  the  wind !  " 



For  straight  a  farmer  brought  a  plank,- 

(Mysteriously  inspired) — 
And  laying  it  unto  the  ship, 

In  silent  awe  retired. 


Then  every  sufferer  stood  amazed 

That  pilot  man  before ; 
A  moment  stood.    Then  wondering  turned. 

And  speechless  walked  ashore. 


SINCE  I  desire,  in  this  chapter,  to  say  an  instructive  word 
or  two  about  the  silver  mines,  the  reader  may  take  this 
fair  warning  and  skip,  if  he  chooses.  The  year  1863  was  per- 
haps the  very  top  blossom  and  culmination  of  the  "  flush  times." 
Virginia  swarmed  with  men  and  vehicles  to  that  degree  that 
the  place  looked  like  a  very  hive — that  is  when  one's  vision 
could  pierce  through  the  thick  fog  of  alkali  dust  that  was  gen- 
erally blowing  in  summer.  I  will  say,  concerning  this  dust, 
that  if  you  drove  ten  miles  through  it,  you  and  your  horses 
would  be  coated  with  it  a  sixteenth  of  an  inch  thick  and  pre- 
sent an  outside  appearance  that  was  a  uniform  pale  yellow 
color,  and  your  buggy  would  have  three  inches  of  dust  in  it, 
thrown  there  by  the  wheels.  The  delicate  scales  tised  by  the 
assay.ers  were  inclosed  in  glass  cases  intended  to  be  air-tight, 
and  yet  some  of  this  dust  was  so  impalpable  and  so  invisibly  fine 
that  it  would  get  in,  somehow,  and  impair  the  accuracy  of 
those  scales. 

Speculation  ran  riot,  and  yet  there  was  a  world  of  substan- 
tial business  going  on,  too.  All  freights  were  brought  over 
the  mountains  from  California  (150  miles)  by  pack-train  partly, 
and  partly  in  huge  wagons  drawn  by  such  long  mule  teams 
that  each  team  amounted  to  a  procession,  and  it  did  seem, 
sometimes,  that  the  grand  combined  procession  of  animals 
stretched  unbroken  from  Virginia  to  California.  Its  long 
route  was  traceable  clear  across  the  deserts  of  the  Territory  by 
the  writhing  serpent  of  dust  it  lifted  up.     By  these  wagons, 


freights  over  that  hundred  and  fifty  miles  were  $200  a  ton  for 
Email  lots  (same  price  for  all  express  matter  brought  by  stage), 
and  $100  a  ton  for  full  loads.  One  Virginia  firm  received  one 
hundred  tons  of  freight  a  month,  and  paid  $10,000  a  month 
freightage.  In  the  winter  the  freights  were  much  highet.  All 
the  buUion  was  shipped  in  bars  by  stage  to  San  Francisco  (a 
bar  was  usually  about  twice  the  size  of  a  pig  of  lead  and  con- 
tained from  $1,500  to  $3,000  according  to  the  amount  of  gold 
mixed  with  the  silver),  and  the  freight  on  it  (when  the  ship- 
ment was  large)  was  one  and  a  quarter  per  cent,  of  its  intrinsic 
value.  So,  the  freight 
on  these  bars  probaJbly 
averaged  something 
more  than  $25  each. 
Small  shippers  paid 
two  per  cent.  There 
were  three  stages  a 
day,  each  way,  and  I 
have  seen  the  out-go- 
ing stages  carry  away  a 

third  of  a  ton  of  bullion  each,  and  more  than  once  I  saw  them 
divide  a  two-ton  lot  and  take  it  off.  However,  these  were  ex- 
traordinary events.*     Two  tons  of  silver  bullion  would  be  in 

*Mr.  Valentine,  Wells  Fargo's  agent,  has  handled  all  the  bullion  phipped 
through  the  Vir£:inia  oflSce  for  many  a  month.  To  his  memory — which  is 
excellent — we  are  indebted  for  the  following  exhibit  of  the  company's  busi- 
ness in  the  Virginia  oflSce  since  the  first  of  January,  1862 :  From  January 
1st  to  April  1st,  about  $370,000  worth  of  bullion  passed  through  that  office ; 
during  the  riext  quarter,  $570,000;  next  quarter,  $800,000;  next  quarter, 
$956,000;  next  quarter,  $1,275,000;  and  for  the  quarter  ending  on  the  30th 
of  last  June,  about  $1,600,000.  Thus  in  a  year  and  a  half,  the  Virginia  office 
only  shipped  $5,330,000  in  bullion.  During  the  year  1862  they  shipped 
$2,615,000,  so  we  perceive  the  average  shipments  have  more  than  doubled 
in  the  last  six  months.  This  gives  us  room  to  promise  for  the  Virginia 
office  $500,000  a  month  -for  the  year  1863  (though  perhaps,  judging  by  the 
Bteady  increase  in  the  business,  we  are  under  estimating,  somewhat).  Thif) 
gives  us  $6,000,000  for  the  year.  Gold  Hill  and  Silver  City  together  can 
beat  us— we  will  give  them  $10,000,000.  To  Dayton,  Empire  City,  Ophir 
and  Carson  City,  we  wUl  allow  an  aggregate  of  $8,000,000,  which  is  not  over 



the  neigliborliood  of  forty  bars,  and  the  freight  on  it  over  $1,000; 
Each  coach  always  carried  a  deal  of  ordinary  express  matter 
beside,  and  also  from  fifteen  to  twenty  passengers  at  from  $25. 
to  $30  a  head.  With  six  stages  going  all  the  time,  Wells, 
Fargo  and  Co.'s  Virginia  City  business  was  important  and 

All  along  under  the  centre  of  Virginia  and  Gold  Hill,  for  a 
couple  of  miles,  ran  the  great  Comstock  silver  lode — a  vein  of 
ore  from  fifty  to  eighty  feet  thick  between  its  solid  walls  of 
rock — a  vein  as  wide  as  some  of  New  York's  streets.  I  will 
remind  the  reader  that  in  Pennsylvania  a  coal  vein  only  eight 
feet  wide  is  considered  ample.  ^ 

Virginia  was  a  busy  city  of  streets  and  houses  above  ground. 
Under  it  was  another  busy  city,  down  in  the  bowels  of  the 
earth,  where  a  great  population  of  men  thronged  in  and  out 
among  an  intricate  maze  of  tunnels  and  drifts,  flitting  hither 
and  thither  under  a  winking  sparkle  of  lights,  and  over  their 
heads  towered  a  vast  web  of  interlocking  timbers  that  held  the 
walls  of  the  gutted  Comstock  apart.  These  timbers  were  as 
large  as  a  man's  body,  and  the  framewoi'k  stretched  upward  so 
far  that  no  eye  could  pierce  to  its  top  through  the  closing  gloom. 
It  was  like  peering  up  through  the  clean-picked  ribs  and  bones 
of  some  colossal  skeleton.  Imagine  such  a  framework  two 
miles  long,  sixty  feet  wide,  and  higher  than  any  church  spire  in 
America.  Imagine  this  stately  lattice-work  stretching  down 
Broadway,  from  the  St.  Nicholas  to  Wall  street,  and  a  Fourth 

the  mark,  perhaps,  and  may  possibly  be  a  little  under  it.  To  Esmeralda  we 
give  $4,000,000.  To  Reese  River  and  Humboldt  $3,000,000,  which  is  liberal 
now,  but  may  not  be  before  the  year  is  out.  So  we  prognosticate  that  the 
yield  of  bullion  this  year  will  be, about  $30,000,000.  Placing  the  number  of 
mills  iu  the  Territory  at  one  hundred,  this  gives  to  each  the  labor  of  pro- 
ducing $300,000  in  bullion  during  the  twelve  months.  Allowing  them  to 
run  three  hundred  days  in  the  year  (which  none  of  them  more  than  do),  this 
makes  their  work  average  $1,000  a  day.  Say  the  mills  average  twenty  tons 
of  rock  a  day  and  this  rock  worth  $50  as  a  general  thing,  and  you  have  the 
actual  work  of  our  one  hundred  mills  figured  down  "  to  a  spot " — $1,000  a 
day  each,  and  $30,000,000  a  year  in  the  aggregate. — EnterprisB, 
[A  considerable  over  estimate. — M.  T.] 



of  July  procession,  reduced  to  pigmies,  parading  on  top  of  it 
and  flaunting  their  flags,  high  above  the  pinnacle  of  Trinity 
steeple.  One  can  imagine  that,^but  he  cannot  well  imagine 
what  that  forest  of  timbers 
cost,  from  the  time  they 
were  felled  in  the  pineries 
beyond  Washoe  Lake, 
hauled  up  and  around 
Mount  Davidson  at  atro- 
cious rates  of  freightage, 
then  squared,  let  down  in- 
to the  deep  ma\^  of  the 
mine  and  built  up  there. 
Twenty  ample  fortunes 
would  not  timber  one  of 
the  greatest  of  those  silver 
mines.  The  Spanish  pro- 
verb says  it  requires  a  gold 
mine  to  "  run  "  a  silver  one, 
and  it  is  true.  A  beggar 
with  a  silver  mine  is  a  piti- 
able pauper  indeed  if  he 
cannot  sell. 

I  spoke  of  the  underground  Vrginia  as  a  city.  The  Gould 
and  Curry  is  only  one  single  mine  under  there,  among  a  great 
many  others ;  yet  the  Gould  and  Curry's  streets  of  dismal  drifts 
and  tunnels  were  five  miles  in  extent,  altogether,  and  its  pop- 
ulation five  hundred  miners.  Taken  as  a  whole,  the  under- 
ground city  had  some  thirty  miles  of  streets  and  a  population 
of  five  or  six  thousand.  In  this  present  day  some  of  thosp 
populations  are  at  work  from  twelve  to  sixteen  hundred  feet 
under  Virginia  and  Gold  Hill,  and  the  signal-bells  that  teV- 
them  what  the  superintendent  above  ground  desires  them  to 
do  are  struck  by  telegraph  as  we  strike  a  fire  alarm.  Some- 
times men  fall  down  a  shaft,  there,  a  thousand  feet  deep.  In 
such  cases,  the  usual  plan  is  to  hold  an  inquest. 

If  jou  wish  to  visit  one  of  those  mines,  you  may  walk 





">>  ,^S 

"fc~  "; 



througli  a  tunnel  about  half  a  mile 
long  if  yon  prefer  it,  or  you  may 
take  the  quicker  plan  of  shooting 
like  a  dart  down  a  shaft,  on  a 
small  platform.  It  is  like  tumbling 
down  through  an  empty  steeple,  feet 
first.  "When  you  reach  the  bottom, 
you  take  a  candle  and  tramp  through 
drifts  and  tunnels  where  throngs  of 
men  are  digging  and  blasting ;  you 
watch  them  send  up  tubs  full  of  great 
lumps  of  stone — sil*er  ore ;  you  select 
choice  specimens  from  the  mass,  as 
souvenirs  ;  you  admire  the  world  of 
skeleton  timbering ;  you  reflect  fre- 
quently that  you  are  buried  under  a 
mountain,  a  thousand  feet  below  day- 
light ;  being  in  the  bottom  of  the 
mine  you  climb  from  "gallery"  to 
"gallery,"  up  endless  ladders  that 
stand  straight  up  and  down ;  when 
your  legs  fail  you  at  last,  you  lie 
down  in  a  small  box-car  in  a  cramped 
"  incline  "  like  a  half-up-ended  sewer 
and  are  dragged  up  to  daylight  feel- 
as  if  you  are  crawling  through  a  coffin 
that  has  no  end  to -it.  Arrived  at  the 
top,  you  find  a  busy  crowd  of  men 
receiving  the  ascending  cars  and  tubs 
and  dumping  the  ore  from  an  eleva- 
tion into  long  rows  of  bins  capable  of 
holding  half  a  dozen  tons  each  ;  un- 
der the  bins  are  rows  of  wagons  load- 
ing from  chutes  and  trap-doors  in  the 
bins,  and  down  the  long  street  is  a 
procession  of_  these  wagons  wending 
toward  the  silver  mills  with  their 

THK    CAVED    MINES.  381 

rich  freight.  It  is  all  "  done,"  now,  and  there  you  are.  You 
need  never  go  down  again,  for  you  have  seen  it  all.  If  you 
have  forgotten  the  process  of  reducing  the  ore  in  the  mill  and 
making  the  silver  bars,  you  can  go  back  and  find  it  again  in 
my  Esmeralda  chapters  if  so  disposed. 

Of  course  these  mines  cave  in,  in  places,  occasionally,  and 
then  it  is  worth  one's  while  to  take  the  risk  of  descending  into 
them  and  observing  the  crushing  power  exerted  by  the  pressing 
weight  of  a  settling  mountain.  I  published  such  an  experience 
in  the  Enterprise,  once,  and  from  it  I  will  take  an  extract : 

An  Houb  rsf  the  Caved  Mines. — We  journeyed  down  into  the  Opliir 
mine,  yesterday,  to  seie  tlie  earthquake.  We  could  not  go  down  the  deep 
incline,  because  it  still  has  a  propensity  to  cave  In  places.  Therefore  we 
traveled  through  the  long  tunnel  which  enters  the  hill  above  the  Opliir 
office,  and  then  by  means  of  a  series  of  long  ladders,  climbed  away  down 
from  the  first  to  the  fourth  gallery.  Traversing  a  drift,  we  came  to  the 
Spanish  line,  passed  five  sets  of  timbers  still  uninj  ured,  and  found  the  earth- 
quake. Here  was  as  complete  a  chaos  as  ever  was  seen — vast  masses  of  earth 
and  splintered  and  broken  timbers  piled  confusedly  together,  with  scarcely 
an  aperture  left  large  enough  for  a  cat  to  creep  through.  Rubbish  was  still 
falling  at  intervals  from  above,  and  one  timber  which  had  braced  others  ear- 
lier in  the  day,  was  now  crushed  down  out  of  its  former  position,  showing 
that  the  caving  and  settling  of  the  tremendous  mass  was  still  going  on.  We 
were  in  that  portion  of  the  Ophir  known  as  the  "north  mines."  Keturning 
to  the  surface,  we  entered  a  tunnel  leading  into  the  Central,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  getting  into  the  main  Ophir.  Descending  a  long  incline,  in  this 
tunnel,  we  traversed  a  drift  or  so,  and  then  went  down  a  deep  shaft  from 
whence  we  proceeded  into  the  fifth  gallery  of  the  Ophir.  From  a  side-drift 
we  crawled  through  a  small  hole  and  got  into  the  midst  of  the  earthquake 
again — eartli  and  broken  timbers  mingled  together  without  regard  to  grace 
or  symmetry.  A  large  portion  of  the  second,  third  and  fourth  galleries 
had  caved  in  and  gone  to  destruction — the  two  latter  at  seven  o'clock  on  the 
previous  evening. 

At  the  turn-table,  near  the  northern  extremity  of  the  fifth  gallery,  two 
big  piles  of  rubbish  had  forced  their  way  through  from  the  fifth  gallery, 
and  from  the  looks  of  the  timbers',  more  was  about  to  come.  These  beaftis 
are  solid — eighteen  inches  square ;  first,  a  great  beam  is  laid  on  the  floor, 
tlien  upright  ones,  five  feet  high,  stand  on  it,  supporting  another  horizontal 
beam,  and  so  on,  square  above  square,  like  the  framework  of  a  window.  The 
superincumbent  weight  was  sufficient  to  mash  the  ends  of  those  great  up- 
right beams  fairly  into  the  solid  wood  of  the  horizontal  ones  three  inches, 
compressing  and  bending  the  upright  beam  till  it  curved  like  a  bow.  Before 
the  Spanish  caved  in,  some  of  their  twelve-inch  horizontal  timbers  were  com- 

'382         TERRIBLE    APPEARANCE    OF    THE    RUINS. 

pressed  in  this  way  until  they  were  only  five  inches  thick !  Imagine  the 
power  it  must  talie  to  squeeze  a  solid  log  together  in  that  way.  Here,  also, 
was  a,  range  of  timbers,  for  a  distance  of  twenty  feet,  tilted  six  inches  out 
of  the  perpendicular  by  the  weight  resting  upon  them  from  the  caved  gal- 
leries above.  You  could  hear  things  craclting  and  giving  way,  and  it  was 
not  pleasant  to  know  that  the  world  overhead  was  slowly  and  silently  sink- 
ing down  upon  you.    The  men  down  in  'the  mine  do  not  mind  it,  however. 

Keturning  along  the  fifth  gallery,  we  struck  the  safe  part  of  the  Ophir 
incline,  and  went  down  it  to  the  sixth  ;  but  we  found  ten  inches  of  water 
there,  and  had  to  come  back.  In  repairing  the  damage  done  to  the  incline, 
the  puinp  had  to  be  stopped  for  two  hours,  and  in  the  meantime  the  water 
gained  about  a  foot.  However,  the  pump  was  at  work  again,  and  the  flood- 
water  was  decreasing.  We  climbed  up  to  the  fifth  gallery  again  and  sought 
a  deep  shaft,  whereby  we  might  descend  to  another  part  of  the  sixth,  out  of 
reach  of  the  water,  but  suflfered  disappointment,  as  the  men  had  gone  to  din- 
ner, and  there  was  no  one  to  man  the  windlass.  So,  having  seen  the  earth- 
quake, we  climbed  out  at  the  Union  incline  and  tunnel,  and  adjourned,  all 
dripping  with  candle  grease  and  perspiration,  to  lunch  at  the  Ophir  office. 

During  the  great  flush  year  of  1863,  Nevada  [claims  to 
have]  produced  $25,000,000  in  bullion — almost,  if  not  quite,  a 
round  million  to  each  thousand  inhabitants,  which  is  very 
well,  considering  that  she  was  without  agriculture  and  manu- 
factures.*    Silver  mining  was  her  sole  productive  industry. 

*  Since  the  above  was  in  type,  I  learn  from  an  official  source  that  the 
above  figure  is  too  high,  and  that  the  yield  for  1863  did  not  exceed  $30,000,000. 
However,  the  day  for  large  figures  is  approaching  ;  the  Sutro  Tunnpl  is  to 
plow  through  the  Comstock  lode  from  end  to  end,  at  a  depth  of  two  thousand 
feet,  and  then  mining  will  be  easy  and  comparatively  inexpensive  ;  and  the 
momentous  matters  of  drainage,  and  hoisting  and  hauling  of  ore  will  cease 
to  lie  burdensome.  This  vast  work  will  absorb  many  years,  and  millions  of 
dollars,  in  its  completion  ;  but  it  will  early  yield  money,  for  that  desirable 
epoch  will  begin  as  soon  as  it  strikes  the  first  end  of  the  vein.  The  tunnel 
will  be  some  eight  miles  long,  and  will  develop  astonishing  riches.  Cars 
will  carry  the  ore  through  the  tunnel  and  dump  it  in  the  mills  and  thus  do 
away  with  the  present  costly  system  of  double  handling  and  transportation 
by  mule  teams.  The  water  from  the  tunnel  will  furnish  the  motive  power 
for  the  mills.  Mr.  Sutro,  the  originator  of  this  prodigious  enterprise,  is  ons 
of  the  few  men  in  the  world  who  is  gifted  with  the  pluck  and  perseverance 
necessary  to  follow  up  and  hound  such  an  undertaking  to  its  completion. 
He  lias  converted  several  obstinate  Congresses  to  a  deserved  friendliness  to- 
ward liis  important  work,  and  has  gone  up  and  down  and  to  and  fro  iu  Europe 
until  he  has  enlisted  a  great  moneyed  interest  in  it  there. 


EVERY  now  and  then,  in  these  days,  the  boys  used  to  tell 
me  I  ought  to  get  one  Jim  Blaine  to  tell  me  the  stir- 
ring story  of  his  grandfather's  old  ram — but  they  always  added 
that  I  must  not  mention  the  matter  unless  Jim  was  drunk  at 
the  time — just  comfortably  and  sociably  drunk.  They  kept 
this  up  until  my  curiosity  was  on  the  rack  to  hear  the  story.  I 
got  to  haunting  Blaine  ;  but  it  was  of  no  use,  the  boys  always 
found  fault  with  his  condition ;  he  was  often  moderately  but 
never  satisfactorily  drunk.  I  nevei*  watched  a  man's  condition 
with  such  absorbing  interest,  such  anxious  solicitude ;  I  never 
so  pined  to  see  a  man  uncompromisingly  dilmk  before.  At 
last,  one  evening  I  hurried  to  his  cabin,  for  I  learned  that  this 
time  his  situation  was  such  that  even  the  most  fastidious  could 
find  no  fault  with  it — ^he  was  tranquilly,  serenely,  symmetri- 
cally drunk — not  a  hiccup  to  mar  his  voice,  not  a  cloud  upon 
his  brain  thick  enough  to  obscure  his  memory.  As  I  entered, 
he  was  sitting  upon  an  empty  powder-keg,  with  a  clay  pipe  in 
one  hand  and  the  other  raised  to  command  silence.  ■  His  face 
was  round,, red,  and  very  serious;  his  throat  was  bare  and  hia 
hair  tumbled ;  in  general  appearance  and  costume  he  was  a 
stalwart  miner  of  the  period.  On  the  pine  table  stood  a 
candle,  and  its  dim  light  revealed  "  the  boys  "  sitting  here  and 
there  on  bunks,  candle-boxes,  powder-kegs,  etc.  They  said : 
"  Sh — !    Don't  speak — he's  going  to  commence." 


I  found  a  seat  at  once,  and  Blaine  said : 

"  I  don't  reckon  them  times  will  ever  come  again.     There 


never  was  a  more  bullier  old  ram  than  what  he  was.     Grand- 
father fetched  him  from  Illinois — got  him  of  a  man  by  the 

name  of  Yates 
—Bill  Tates— 
maybe  you 
might  have 
heard  of  him ; 
his  father  was  a 
deacon — Bap- 
tist— and  he  was 
a  rustler,  too ;  a 
man  had  to  get 
up  rather  early 
to  get  the  start 
^  of  old  Thankful 
Tates ;  it  was 
him  that  put  the 
Greens  up  to 
jining  teams 
-with  my  grand- 
father when  he 
moved  west.  Seth  Green  was  prob'ly  the  pick  of  the  flock ; 
he  married  a  Wilkerson — Sarah  Wilkerson — good  cretur,  she 
was — one  of  the  likeliest  heifers  that  was  ever  raised  in  old 
Stoddard,  everybody  said  that  knowed  her.  She  could-  heft  a 
bar'l  of  flour  as  easy  as  I  can  flirt  a  flapjack.  And  spin  ? 
Don't  mention  it!  Independent?  Humph!  "When  Sile 
Hawkins  come  a  browsing  around  her,  she  let  him  know  that 
for  all  his  tin  he  couldn't  trot  in  harness  alongside  of  her. 
Tou  see,  Sile  Hawkins  was — no,  it  warn't  Sile  Hawkins,  after 
all — it  was  a  galoot  by  the  name  of  Filkins — I  disremember 
his  first  name  ;  but  he  was  a  stump — come  into  pra'r  meeting 
drunk,  one  night,  hooraying  for  Nixon,  becuz  he  thougl^t  it 
was  a  primary  ;  and  old  deacon  Ferguson  up  and  scooted  him 
through  the  window  and  he  lit  on  old  Miss  Jefferson's  head, 
poor  old  filly.  She  wasa  good  soul — had  a  glass  eye  and  used 
to  lend  it  to  old  Miss  Wagner,  that  hadn't  any,  to  receive 




company  in ;  it  warn't  big  enough,  and  when  Miss  Wagner 
wam't  noticing,  it  would  get  twisted  around  in  the  socket,  and 


look  up,  maybe,  or  out  to  one  side,  and  every  which  way, 
while  t'  other  one  was  looking  as  straight  ahead  as  a  spy-glass, 
Grown  people  didn't  mind  it,  but  it  most  always  made  the 
children  cry,  it  was  so  sort  of  scary.  She  tried  packing  it  in  raw 
cotton,  but  it  wouldn't  work,  somehow — the  cotton  would  get 
loose  and  stick  out  and  look  so  kind  of  awful  that  the  children 
couldn't  stand  it  no  way.  She  was  always  dropping  it  out,  and 
turning  up  her  old  dead-light  on  the  company  empty,  and 
making  them  oncomfortable,  becuz  she  never  could  tell  when 
it  hopped  out,  being  blind  on  that  side,  you  see.  So  some- 
body would  have  to  hunch  her  and  say,  "  Your  game  eye  has 
fetched  loose,  Miss  Wagner  dear" — and  then  all  of  them 
would  have  to  sit  and  wait  till  she  jammed  it  in  again — wrong 
side  before,  as  a  general  thing,  and  green  as  a  bird's  ^^^,  being 
a  bashful  cretur  and  easy  sot  back  before  company.  But 




being  wrong  side  before   wam't   much  difference,  anyway, 
becuz  her  own  eye  was  sky-blue  and  the  glass  one  was  yaller 

on  the  front  side,  so  which- 
ever way  she  turned  it  it 
didn't  match  nohow.  Old 
Miss  Wagner  was  consid- 
erable on  the  borrow,  she 
was.  When  she  had  a 
quilting,  or  Dorcas  S'iety  at 
her  house  she  gen'ally  bor- 
.55>.  W  \.  dlS^M  i^.'^^^  rowed  Miss  Higgins's  wood- 
en leg  to  stump  around  on ; 
it  was  considerable  shorter 
S^^^W^^^^^lHWHlBw      than    her    other    pin,    but 

much  she  minded  that.  She 
said  she  couldn't  abide 
crutches  when  she  Kad  company,  becuz  they  were  so  slow ; 
said  when  she  had  company  and  things  had  to  be  done,  she 
wanted  to  get  up  and  hump  herself.  She  was  as  bald  as 
a  jug,  and  so  she  used  to  borrow  Miss  Jacops's  wig — Miss 
Jacops  was  the  coffin-peddler's  wife — a  ratty  old  buzzard,  he 
was,  that  used  to  go  roosting  around  where  people  was  sick, 
waiting  for  'em  ;  aiid  there  that  old  rip  would  sit  all  day,  in 
the  shade,  on  a  coffin  that  he  judged  would  fit  the  can'idate ; 
and  if  it  was  a  slow  customer  and  kind  of  uncertain,  he'd 
fetch  his  rations  and  a  blanket  along  and  sleep  in  the  coffin 
nights.  He  was  anchored  out  that  way,  in  frosty  weather,  for 
about  three  weeks,  once,  before  old  Eobbins's  place,  waiting 
for  him  ;  and  after  that,  for  as  much  as  two  years,  Jacops  was 
not  on  speaking  terms  with  the  old  man,  on  account  of  his 
disapp'inting  him.  He  got-  one  of  his  feet  froze,  and  lost 
money,  too,  becuz  old  Eobbins  took  a  favorable  turn  and  got 
well.  The  next  time  Eobbins  got  sick,  Jacops  tried  to  make 
up  with  him,  and  varnished  up  the  same  old  coffin  and  fetched 
it  along ;  but  old  Eobbins  was  too  many  for  him ;  he  had  him 
in,  and  'peared  to  be  powerful  weak ;  he  bought  the  coffin  for 
ten  dollars  and  Jacops  was  to  pay  it  back  and  twenty-five  more 



besides  if  Eobbins  didn't  like  the  coffin  after  he'd  tried  it. 
And  then  Eobbins  died,  and  at  the  funeral  he  bursted  off  the 


lid  and  riz  up  in  his  shroud  and  told  the  parson  to  let  up  on 
the  performances,  becuz  he  could  not  stand  such  a  coffin  as 
that.  You  see  he  had  been  in  a  trance  once  before,  when  he 
was  young,  and  he  took  the  chances  on  another,  cal'lating  that 
if  he  made  the  trip  it  was  money  in  his  pocket,  and  if  he 
missed  fire  he  couldn't  lose  a  cent.  And  by  George  he  sued 
Jacops  for  the  rhino  and  got  jedgment;  and  he  set  up  the 
coffin  in  his  back  parlor  and  said  he  'lowed  to  take  his  time, 
now.  It  was  always  an  aggravation  to  Jacops,  the  way  that 
miserable  bid  thing  acted.  He  moved  back  to  Indiany  pretty 
goon — went  to  Wellsvilie — ^Wellsville  was  the  place  the  Hog- 
adorns  was  from.  Mighty  fine  family.  Old  Maryland  stock. 
Old  Squire  Hogadorn  could  carry  around  more  mixed  licker, 
and  cuss  better  than  most  any  man  I  ever  see.  His  second 
wife  was  the  widder  Billings— she  that  was  Becky  Martin  ; 
her  dam  was  deacon  Dunlap's  first  wife.  Her  oldest  child, 
Maria,  married  a  missionary,  and  died  in  grace — et  up  by  the 



They  et  him,  too,  poor  feller — biled  him.  It  wam't 
the  custom,  so  they  say,  but  they  explained  to  friends  of  his'n 
that  went  down  there  to  bring  away  his  things,  that  they'd 
tried  missionaries  every  other  way  and  never  could  get  any 
good  out  of  'em — and  so  it  annoyed  all  his  relations  to  find 
out  that  that  man's  life  Avas  fooled  away  just  out  of  a  dern'd 
experiment,  so  to  speak.  But  mind  you,  there  ain't  anything 
ever  reely  lost ;  everything  that  people  can't  understand  and 
don't  see  the  reason  of  does  good  if  you  only  hold  on  and  give 
it  a  fair  sliake  ;  Prov'dence  don't  fire  no  blank  ca'tridges,  boys. 
That  there  missionary's  substance,  unbeknowns  to  himself, 
actu'ly  converted  every  last  one  of  them  heathens  that  took  a 
chance  at  the  barbacue.  Nothing  ever  fetched  them  but  that. 
Don't  -tell  Trie  it  was  an  accident  that  he  was  biled.     There 

ain't  no  such  a  thing  as  an 
accident.  When  my  uncle 
Lem  was  leaning  up  agin 
a  scaffolding  once,  sick,  lar 
drunkj  or  suthin,  an  Irish- 
man with  a  hod  full  of 
bricks  fell  on  him  out  of 
the  third  story  and  broke 
the  old  man's  back  in  two 
places.  People  said  it  was 
an  accident.  Much  acci- 
dent there  was  about  that. 
He  didn't  know  what  he 
was  there  for,  but  he  was 
there  for  a  good  object.  If 
he  hadn't  been  there  the 
Irishman  would  have  been 
killed.  Nobody  can  ever 
make  me  believe  anything 
difiierent  from  that.  Uncle 
Lem's  dog  was  there.  Why  didn't  the  Irishman  fall  on  the 
dog  ?  Becuz  the  dog  would  a  seen  him  a  coming  and  stood  from 
under.     That's  the  reason  the  dog  wam't  appinted.    A  dog 




can't  be  depended  on  to  carry  ont  a  special  providence.  Mark 
my  words  it  was  a  put-up  thing.  Accidents  don't  happen, 
boys.  Uncle  Lem's  dog — I  wish  you  could  a  seen  that  dog. 
He  was  a  reglar  shepherd — or  ruther  he  was 
part  bull  and  part  shepherd — splendid  ani- 
mal ;  belonged  to  parson  Hagar  before  Uncle 
Lem  got  him.  Parson  Hagar  belonged  to 
the  Western  Reserve  Hagars ;  prime  family ; 
his  mother  was  a  "Watson ;  one  of  his  sisters 
married  a  Wheeler ;  they  settled  in  Morgan 
county,  and  he  got  nipped  by  the  machinery 
in  a  carpet  factory  and  went  through  in  less 
than  a  quarter  of  a  minute ;  his  widder 
bought  the  piece  of  carpet  that  had  his 
remains  wove  in,  and  people  come  a  hundred 
mile  to  'tend  the  funeral.  There  was  four- 
teen yards  in  the  piece.  She  wouldn't  let  ^P^5F 
them  I'oU  him  up,  but  planted  him  just  so  ^^gg! 
— full  length.  The  church  was  middling  ^pws 
small  where  they  preached  the  funeral,  and  Vw " 
they  had  to  let  one  end  of  the  coffin  stick  r^;^^ 
out  of  the  window.  They  didn't  bury  him 
. — they  planted  one  end,  and  let  him  stand 
up,  same  as  a  monmnent.  And  they  nailed 
a  sign  on  it  and  put — put  on — ^put  on  it — 
sacred  to — the  m-e-m-o-r-y — of  fourteen  j 
y-arr-d-s — of  three-ply — car  —  pet — con- 
taining all  that  was — m-o-r-t-a-l — of — of — 
W-i-1-l-i-a.-m— W-h-e—  " 

Jim  Blaine  had  been  growing  gradually  ^^  mokuimst. 
drowsy  and  drowsier — his  head  nodded, 
once,  twice,  three  times — dropped  peacefully  upon  his  breast, 
and  he  fell  tranquilly  asleep.  The  tears  were  running  down 
the  boys'  cheeks — they  were  suffocating  with  suppressed  laugh- 
ter—and had  been  from  the  start,  though  I  had  never  noticed 
it.  I  perceived  that  I  was  "  sold."  I  lea,rned  then  that  Jim 
Blaine's  peculiarity  was  that  whenever  he  reached  a  certain 


THE    JOKE    OUT. 

stage  of  intoxication,  no  human  power  could  keep  him,  from 
setting  out,  with  impressive  unction,  to  tell  about  a  wonderful 
adventure  which  he  had  once  had  with  his  grandfather's  old 
ram — and  the  mention  of  the  ram  in  the  first  sentence  was  as 
far  as  any  man  had  ever  heard  him  get,  concerning  it.  He 
always  maundered  off',  interminably,  from  one  thing  to  another, 
till  his  whisky  got  the  best  of  him  and  he  fell  asleep.  What 
the  thing  was  that  happened  to  him  and  his  grandfather's  old 
ram  is  a  dark  mystery  to  this  day,  for  nobody  has  ever  yet 
foimd  out. 






mm  \ 



« -^ 


OF  course  there  was  a  large  Chinese  population  in  Virginia 
— ^it  is  the  case  with  every  town  and  city  on  the  Pacific 
coast.  They  are  a  harmless  race  when  white  men  either  let 
them  alone  or  treat  them  no  worse  than  dogs ;  in  fact  they  are 
almost  entirely  harmless  anyhow,  for  they  seldom  think  of  re- 
senting the  vilest  inSults  or  the  cruelest  injuries.  They  are 
quiet,  peaceahle,  tractable,  free  from  drunkenness,  and  they 
are  as  indiastrious  as  the  day  is  long.  A  disorderly  Chinaman 
is  rare,  and  a  lazy  one  does  not  exist.  So  long  as  a  Chinaman 
has  strength  to  use  his  hands  he  needs  no  support  from  any- 
body ;  white  men  often  complain  of  want  of  work,  but  a  China- 
man offers  no  such  complaint ;  he  always  manages  to  find 
something  to  do.  He  is  a  great  convenience  to  everybody — 
even  to  the  worst  class  of  white  men,  for  he  bears  the  most  of 
their  sins,  suffering  fines  for  their  .petty  thefts,  imprisonment 
for  their  robberies,  and  death  for  their  murders.  Any  white 
man  can  swear  a  Chinaman's  Kfe  away  in  the  courts,  but  no 
Chinaman  .can  testify  against  a  white  man.  Ours  is  the  "  land 
of  the  free" — ^nobody  denies  that — nobody  challenges  it. 
[Maybe  it  is  because  we  won't  let  other  people  testify.]  As  I 
write,  news  comes  that  in  broad  daylight  in  San  Francisco, 
some  boys  have  stoned  an  inoffensive  Chinaman  to  death,  and 
that  although  a,  large  crowd  witnessed  the  shameful  deed,  no 
one  interfered. 

There  are  seventy  thousand  (and  possibly  one  hundred 
thousand)  Chinamen  on  the  Pacific  coast.     There  were  about 


a  thousand  in  Virginia.     Tliey  were  penned  into  a  "  Chinese 

quarter  " — a  thing  which  they  do  not  particularly  object  to,  as 

they  are  fond  of  herding  together.     Their  buildings  were  of 

wood;    usually  only  one  story  high,  and  set  thickly  together 

along  streets  scarcely  wide  enough  for  a  wagon  to  pass  through. 

Their  quarter  was  a  little  removed  from  the  rest  of  the  town. 

The  chief  employment  of  Chinamen  in  towns  is  to  wash 

clothing.     They  always  send  a  bill,  like  this  below,  pinned  to 

the  clothes.     It  is  mere  ceremony,  for  it  does  not  enlighten 

the  customer  much.     Their  price  for  washing 

\  i  was  $2.50  per  dozen — rather  cheaper  than  white 

a-^R#  people  could  aiford  to  wash  for  at  that  time.     A 

*"  very  common  sign  on  the  Chinese  houses  was : 

^jT      " See  Yup,  Washer  and  Ironer " ;   "Hong  Wo, 

^      ^  i       ^'^asher";  "Sam  Sing  &  Ah  Hop,  Washing." 

r       The  house  servants,  cooks,  etc.,  in  California  and 

Nevada,  were  chiefly  Chinamen.     There  were 

few  white  servants  and  no  Chinawomen  so  em- 

■    J%^         ployed.     Chinamen  make  good  house  servants, 

^"■y^         being  quick,  obedient,  patient,  quick  to  learn 

■^  \J^      and  tirelessly  industrious.     They  do  not  need  to 

be  taught  a  thing  twice,  as  a  general  thing.  They 

are  imitative.     If  a  Chinaman  were  to  see  his 

i  master  break  up  a  centre  table,  in  a  passion,  and 
kindle  a  fire  with  it,  that  Chinaman  would  be 
likely  to  resort  to  the  furniture  for  fuel  foi'ever 

All  Chinamen  can  read,  write  and  cipher 
with  easy  facility — ^pity  but  all  our  petted  voters 
could.  In  California  they  rent  little  patches 
of  ground  and  do  a  deal  of  gardening.  They 
will  raise  surprising  crops  of  vegetables  on  a 
sand  pile.  They  waste  nothing.  What  is  rub- 
bish to  a  Christian,  a  Chinaman  carefully  preserves  and  makes 
useful  in  one  way  or  apother.  He  gathers  up  all  the  old  oyster 
•and  sardine  cans  that  white  people  throw  away,  and  pro- 
cures  marketable  tin   and   solder    from   them   by  melting. 





\  1 








\  xU^ 




He  g9,thers  tip  old  bones  and  turns  them  into  manure. 
In  California  lie  gets  a  living  out  of  old  mining  claims 
that  white  men  have 
abandoned  as  exr 
hausted  and  worth- 
less— and  then  the 
officers  come  down 
on  him  once  a  month 
with  an  exorbitant 
swindle  to  which  the 
legislature  has  given 
the  broad,  general 
name  of  "  foreign  " 
mining  tax,  but  it  is 
usually  inilicted  on 
no  foreigners  but 
Chinamen.  This 
swindle  has  in  some 
cases  been  repeated 
once  or  twice  on  the  same  victim  in  the  course  of  the  same 
month — bjit  the  public  treasury  was  not  additionally  enriched 
by  it,  probably. 

Chinamen  hold  their  dead  in  great  reverence — they  worship 
their  departed  ancestors,  in  fact.  Hence,  in  China,  a  man's  front 
yard,  back  yard,  or  any  other  part  of  his  premises,  is  made  his 
family  burying  ground,  in  order  that  he  may  visit  the  graves 
at  any  and  all  times.  Therefore  that  huge  enrpire  is  one 
mighty  cemetery;  it  is  ridged  and  wringled" from  its  centre  to 
its  circumference  with  graves — and  inasmuch  as  every  foot  of 
ground  must  be  made  to  do  its  utmost,  in  China,  lest  the  swarm- 
ing population  suffer  for  food,  the  very  graves  are  cultivated 
and  yield  a  harvest,  custom  holding  this  to  be  no  dishonor  to 
the  dead.  Since  the  departed  are  held  in  such  worshipful 
reverence,  a  Chinaman  cannot  bear  that  any  indignity  be 
offered  the  places  where  they  sleep.  Mr.  Burlingame  said  that 
herein  lay  China's  bitter  opposition  to  raUroads ;  a  road 
could  not  be  built  anywhere  in  the  empire  without  disturbing 
the  graves  of  their  ancestors  or  friends. 


A  Chinaman  hardly  believes  he  could  enjoy  the  hereafter 
except  his  body  lay  in  his  beloved  China ;  also,  he  desires  to 
receive,  himself,  after  death,  that  worship  with  which  h^  has 
honored  his  dead  that  preceded  him.  Therefore,  if  he  visits  a 
foreign  country,  he  makes  arrangements  to  have  his  bones  re- 
turned to  China  in  case  he  dies ;  if  he  hires  to  go  to  a  foreign 
cpuntry  on  a  labor  contract,  there  is  always  a  stipulation  that 
his  body  shall  be  taken  back  to  China  if  he  dies ;  if  the  govern- 
ment sells  a  gang  of  Coolies  tb  a  foreigner  for  the  usual  five- 
year  terra,  it  is  specified  in,  thie  contract  that  their  bodies  shall 
be  restored  to  China  in  case  of  death.  On  the  Pacific  coast 
the  Chinamen  all  belong  to  one  or  another  of  several  great 
companies  or  organizations,  and  these  companies  keep  track  of 
their  members,  register  their  names,  and  ship  their  bodies  home 
"when  they  die.  The  See  Yup  Company  is  held  to  be  the 
largest  of  these.  The  Ning  Yeong  Company  is  next,  and 
numbers  eighteen  thousand  members  on  the  coast.  Its  head- 
quarters are  at  San  Francisco,  where  it  has  a  costly  temple, 
several  great  ofSeers  (one  of  whom  keeps  regal  state  in  seclu- 
sion and  cannot  be  approached  by  common  htmianity),  and  a 
numerous  priesthood.  In  it  I  was  shown  a  register  of  its  mem- 
bers, with  the  dead  and  the  date  of  their  shipment  to  China 
duly  marked.  Eveiy  ship  that  sails  from  San  Francisco  carries 
away  a  heavy  freight  of  Chinese  corpses — or  did,  at  least,  until 
the  legislature,  with  an  ingenious  refinement  of  Christian 
cruelty,  forbade  the  shipments,  as  a  neat  underhanded  way  of 
deterring  Chinese  immigration.  The  bill  was  ofiered,  whether 
it  passed  or  not.  It  is  my  impression  that  it  passed.  There 
was  another  bill — ^it  became  a  law — compelling  every  incoming 
Chinaman  to  be  vaccinated  on  the  wharf  and  pay  a  duly  ap- 
pointed quack  (no  decent  doctor  would  defile  himself  with 
such  legalized  robbery)  ten  dollars  for  it.  As  few  importers 
of  Chinese  would  want  to  go  to  an  expense  like  that,  the  law- 
makers thought  this  would  be  another  heavy  blow  to  Chinese 

What  the  Chinese  quarter  of  Yirginia  was  like — or,  indeed, 
what  the  Chinese  quarter  of  any  Pacific  coast  town  was  and  is 

A    VISIT    TO    CHINATOWN.  895 

like — ^may  be  gathered  from  this  item  which  I  printed  in  the 
Enterprise  while  reporting  for  that  paper : 

Chinatown. — Accompanied  by  a  f  ellovi'  reporter,  we  made  a  trip  through 
our  Chinese  quarter  the  other  night.  The  Chinese  have  built  their  portion 
of  the  city  to  suit  themselves ;  and  as  they  keep  neither  carriages  nor 
wagons,  their  streets  are  not  wide  enough,  as  a  general  thing,  to  admit  of 
the  passage  of  vehicles.  At  ten  o'clock  at  night  the  Chinaman  may  be  seen 
in  all  his  glory.  In  every  little  cooped-up,  dingy  cavern  of  a  hut,  faint  with 
the  odor  of  burning  Josh-lights  and  with  nothing  to  see  the  gloom  by  save 
the  sickly,  guttering  tallow  candle,  *ere  two  or  three  yellow,  long-tailed 
vagabonds,  coiled  up  on  a  sort  of  short  truckle-bed,  smoking  opium,  motion- 
less and  with  their  lustreless  eyes  turned  inward  from  excess  of  satisfaction 
—or  rather  the  recent  smoker  looks  thus,  immediately  after  having  passed 
the  pipe  to  his  neighbor — for  opium-smpking  is  a  comfortless  operation,  and 
requires  constant  attention.  A  lamp  sits  on  the  bed,  the  length  of  the  long 
pipe-stem  from  the  smoker's  mouth ;  he  puts  a  pellet  of  opium  on  the  end  of 
a  wire,  sets  it  on  fire,  and  plasters  it  into  the  pipe  much  as  a  Christian  would 
fill  a  hole  with  putty ;  then  he  applies  the  bowl  to  the  lamp  and  proceeds  to 
smoke — and  the  stewing  and  frying  of  the  drug  and  the  gurgling  of  the 
juices  in  the  stem  would  wellnigh  turn  the  stomach  of  a  statue.  John 
likes  it,  though ;  it  soothes  him,  he  takes  about  two  dozen  whiflfs,  and  then 
rolls  over  to  dream.  Heaven  only  knows  what,  for  we  could  not  imagine  by 
looking  at  the  soggy  creature.  Possibly  in  his  visions  he  travels  far  away 
from  the  gross  world  and  his  regular  washing,  and  feasts  on  succulent  rats 
and  birds'-nests  in  Paradise. 

Mr.  Ah  Sing  keeps  a  general  grocery  and  provision  store  at  No.  13  Wang 
street.  He  lavished  his  hospitality  upon  our  party  in  the  friendliest  way. 
He  had  various  kinds  of  colored  and  colorless  wines  and  brandies,  with  un- 
pronouncable  names,  imported  from  China  in  little  crockery  jugs,  and  which 
he  ofllered  to  ua  in  dainty  little  miniature  wash-basins  of  porcelain.  He 
ofTered  us  a  mess  of  birds'-nests;  also,  small,  neat  sausages,  of  which  we 
could  have  swallowed  several  yards  if  we  had  chosen  to  try,  but  we  sus- 
pected that  each  link  contained  the  corpse  of  a  mouse,  and  therefore 
refrained.  Mr.  Sjng  had  in  his  store  a  thousand  articles  of  merchandise, 
curious  to  behold,  impossible  to  imagine  the  uses  of,  and  beyond  our  ability 
to  describe. 

His  ducks,  however,  and  his  eggs,  we  could  understand ;  the  former  were 
split  open  and  flattened  out  like  codfish,  and  came  from  China  in  that 
shape,  and  the  latter  were  plastered  over  with  some  kind  of  paste  which 
kept  them  fresh  and  palatable  through  the  long  voyage. 

We  found  Mr.  Hong  Wo,  No.  37  Chow-chow  street,  making  up  a  lottery 
scheme — ^in  fact  we  found  a  dozen  others  occupied  in  the  same  way  in  vari- 
ous parts  of  the  quarter,  for  about  every  third  Chinaman  runs  a  lottery,  and 
the  balance  of  the  tribe  "  buck  "  at  it.  "  Tom,"  who  speaks  faultless  English, 
and  used  to  be  chief  and  only  cook  to  the  Territorial  Ent&rprm,  when  the 



establishment  kept  bachelor's  hall  two  years  ago,  said  that  "  Sometime 
Chinaman  buy  ticket  one  dollar  hap,  ketch  um  two  tree  hundred,  sometime 
no  ketch  um  anyting ;  lottery  like  one  man  fight  um  seventy — may-be  he 
whip,  may-be  he  get  whip  heself,  welly  good."  However,  the  percentage 
being  sixty-nine  against  him,  the  chances  are,  as  a  general  thing,  that  "  he 

iIhi    |U[ 


get  whip  heself."  We  could  not  see  that  these  lotteries  differed  in  any 
respect  from  our  own,  save  that  the  figures  being  Chinese,  no  ignorant  white 
man  might  ever  hope  to  succeed  in  telling  "  fother  from  which  ; "  the  man- 
ner of  drawing  is  similar  to  ours. 

Mr.  See  Yup  keeps  a  fancy  store  on  Live  Fox  street.  He  sold  us  fans  of 
white  feathers,  gorgeously  ornamented ;  perfumery  that  smelled  like  Lim- 
burger  cheese,  Chinese  pens,  and  watch-charms  made  of  a  stone  unscratch- 
able  vrith  steel  instruments,  yet  polished  and  tinted  like  the  inner  coat  of  a 
sea-shell.*  As  tokens  of  his  esteem.  See  Yup  presented  the  party  with 
gaudy  plumes  made  of  gold  tinsel  and  trimmed  with  peacocks'  feathers. 

We  ate  chow-chow  with  chopstitks  in  the  celestial  restaurants ;  our  com- 
rade chided  the  moon-eyed  damsels  in  front  of  the  houses  for  their  want  of  fem- 
inine reserve  ;  we  received  protecting  Josh-lights  from  our  hosts  and  "  dick- 

*A  peculiar  species  of  the  "jade-stone" — to  a  Chinaman  peculiarly 



ered  "  for  a  pagan  ^°^  °^  tw-  Finally,  we  were  impressed  with  tlie  genius 
of  a  CMnese  book-keeper ;  lie  figured  up  his  accounts  on  a  machine  like  a  grid- 
iron with  buttons  strung  on  its  bars  ;  the  different  rows  represented  units. 

tens,  hundreds  and  thousands.    He  fingered  them  with  incredible  rapidity 

in  fact,  he  pushed  them  from  place  to  place  as  fast  as  a  musical  professor's 
fingers  travel  over  the  keys  of  a  piano. 

They  are  a  kindly  disposed,  well-meaning  race,  and  are 
respected  and  well  treated  by  the  upper  classes,  all  over  the 
Pacific  coast.  No  Californian  gentleman  w  lady  ever  abuses 
or  oppresses  a  Chinaman,  under  any  circumstances,  an  explana- 
tion that  seems  to  be  much  needed  in  the  East.  Only  the  scum 
of  the  population  do  it — they  and  their  chfldren ;  they,  and, 
naturally  and  consistently,  the  policemen  and  politicians,  like- 
wise, for  these  are  the  dust-licking  pimps  and  slaves  of  the 
scum,  there  as  well  as  elsewhere  in  America. 


I  BEGAN  to  get  tired  of  staying  in  one  place  so  long. 
There  was  no  longer  satisfying  variety  in  going  down  to 
Carson  tp  report  the  proceedings  of  the  legislature  once  a  year, 
and  horse-races  and  pumpkin-shows  once  in  three  months; 
(they  had  got  to  raising  pumpkins  and  potatoes  in  "Washoe 
Valle}',  and  of  course  one  of  the  first  achievements  of  the 
legislature  was  to  institute  a  ten-thousand-dollar  Agricultural 
i'air  to  show  off  forty  dollars'  worth  of  those  pumpkins  in — 
however,  the  territorial  legislature  was  usually  spoken  of  as 
the  "  asylum  ").  I  wanted  to  see  San  Francisco.  I  wanted  to 
go  somewhere.  I  wanted — I  did  not  know  what  I  wanted.  I 
had  the  "  spring  fever "  and  wanted  a  change,  principally,  no 
douht.  Besides,  a  convention  had  framed  a  State  Constitu- 
tion ;  nine  men  out  of  every  ten  wanted  an  office  ;  I  believed 
that  these  gentlemen  would  "treat"  the  moneyless  and  the 
irresponsible  among  the  population  into  adopting  the  consti- 
tution and  thus  wellnigh  killing  the  country  (it  could  not 
well  carry  such  a  load  as  a  State  government,  since  it  had 
nothing  to  tax  that  could  stand  a  tax,  for  undeveloped  mines 
could  not,  and  there  were  not  fifty  developed  ones  in  the  land, 
there  was  but  little  realty  to  tax,  and  it  did  seem  as  if  nobody 
was  ever  going  to  think  of  the  simple  salvation  of  infiicting  a 
money  penalty  on  murder).  I  believed  that  a  State  government 
would  destroy  the  "  flush  times,"  and  I  wanted  to  get  away.  I 
believed  that  the  mining  stocks  I  had  on  hand  would  soon  be 
worth  $100,000,  and  thought  if  they  reached,  that  before  the 
Constitution  was  adopted,  I  would  sell  out  and  make  myself 



eecure  from  the  crasli  the  change  of  government  was  going  to 
bring.  I  considered  $100,000  sufficient  to  go  home  with 
decently,  though  it  was  but  a  small  amount  compared  to  what 
I  had  been  expecting  to  return  with.  I  felt  rather  down- 
hearted about  it,  but  I  tried  to  comfort  myself  with  the  re- 
flection that  with  such  a  sum  I  could  not  fall  into  want. 
About  this  time  a  schoolmate  of  mine  whom  I  had  not  seen 
since  boyhood,  came  tramping  in  on  foot  from  Reese  River,  a 
very  allegory  of  Poverty.  The  son  of  wealthy  parents,  here 
he  was,  in  a  strange  land,  hungry,  bootless,  mantled  in  an 
ancient  horse-blanket,  roofed 
with  a  brimless  hat,  and  so 
generally  and  bo  extrava- 
gantly dilapidated  that  he 
could  have  "  taken  the  shine 
out  of  the  Prodigal  Son 
himself,"  as  he  pleasantly 
remarked.  He  wanted  to 
borrow  forty-six  dollars — 
twenty-six  to  take  him  to 
San  Francisco,  and  twenty 
for  something  else ;  to  buy 
some  soap  with,  maybe,  for 
he  needed  it.  I  found  I  had 
but  little  more  than  the 
amount  wanted,  in  my  pack- 
et;  so  I  stepped  in  and  bor- 
rowed forty-six  dollars  of  a 
banker  (on  twenty  days'  time, 
withoulf  the  formality  of  a 
note),  and  gave  it  him,  rather 
than  walk  half  a  block  to  the 
'office,  where  I  had  some  specie  laid  up.  If  anybody  had  told 
me  that  it  would  take  me  two  years  to  pay  back  that  forty-six 
dollars  to  the  banker  (for  I  did  not  expect  it  of  the  Prodigal, 
and  was  not  disappointed),  I  would  have  felt  injured.  And 
so  would  the  banker. 


400  IN    THE    EDITORIAL    CHAIE. 

I  wanted  a  change.  I  wanted  variety  of  some  kind.  It 
came.  Mr.  Goodman  went  away  for  a  week  and  left  me  the 
post  of  chief  editor.  It  destroyed  me.  The  first  day,  I  wrote 
my  "leader"  in  the  forenoon.  The  second  day,  I  had  no 
subject  and  put  it  oif  till  the  afternoon.  The  third  day  I  put 
it  off  till  evening,  and  then  copied  an  elaborate  editorial  out 
of  the  "American  Cyclopedia,"  that  steadfast  friend  of  the 
editor,  all  over  this  land.  The  fourth  day  I  "  fooled  around  " 
till  midnight,  and  then  fell  back  on  the  Cyclopedia  again. 
The  fifth  day  I  cudgeled  my  brain  till  midnight,  and  then 
kept  the  press  waiting  while  I  penned  some  bitter  personalities 
on  six  different  people.  The  sixth  day  I  labored  in  anguish 
till  far  into  the  night  and  brought  forth — nothing.  The  paper 
went  to  press  without  an  editorial.  The  seventh  day  I  re- 
signed. On  the  eighth,  Mr.  Goodman  returned  and  found 
six  duels  on  his  hands — my  personalities  had  borne  fruit. 

liobody,  except  he  has  tried  it,  knows  what  it  is  to  be  an 
editor.  It  is  easy  to  scribble  local  rubbish,  with  the  facts  all 
before  you ;  it  is  easy  to  clip  selections  from  other  papers  ;  it 
is  easy  to  string  out  a  correspondence  from  any  locality ;  but 
it  is  unspeakable  hardship  to  write  editorials.  Svijects  are  the 
trouble — the  dreary  lack  of  them,  I  mean.  Every  day,  it  is 
drag,  drag,  drag — think,  and  worry  and  suffer — all  the  world 
is  a  dull  blank,  and  yet  the  editorial  colmims  must  be  filled. 
Only  give  the  editor  a  siihject,  and  his  work  is  done — it  is  no 
trouble  to  write  it  up  ;  but  fancy  how  you  would  feel  if  you 
had  to  pump  your  brains  dry  every  day  in  the  week,  fifty-two 
weeks  in  the  year.  It  makes  one  low  spirited  simply  to  think 
of  it.  The  matter  that  each  editor  of  a  daily  paper  in  America 
writes  in  the  course  of  a  year  would  fill  from  four  to  eight 
bulky  volumes  like  this  book !  Fancy  what  a  library  an  editoi-'s 
work  would  make,  after  twenty  or  thirty  years'  service.  Yet 
people  often  marvel  that  Dickens,  Scott,  Bulwer,  Dumas,  etc., 
have  been  able  to  produce  so  many  books.  If  these  authors 
had  wrought  as  voluminously  as  newspaper  editors  do,  the 
result  would  be  something  to  marvel  at,  indeed.  How  editors 
can  continue  this  tremendous  labor,  this  exhausting  consump- 


tion  of  brain  fibre  (for  their  work  is  creative,  and  not  a  mere 
mecbanieal  laying-np  of  facts,  like  reporting),  day  after  day' 
and  year  after  year,  is  incomprebensible.  Preachers  take  two 
months'  holiday  in  midsummer,  for  they  find  that  to  produce  two 
sermons  a  week  is  wearing,  in  the  long  run.  In  truth  it  must 
be  so,  and  is  so  ;  and  therefore,  how  an  editor  can  take  from 
ten  to  twenty  texts  and  build  upon  them  from  ten  to  twenty 
painstaking  editorials  a  week  and  keep  it  up  all  the  year  round, 
is  farther  beyond  comprehension  than  ever.  Ever  since  I 
survived  my  week  as  editor,  I  have  found  at  least  one  pleasure 
in  any  newspaper  that  comes  to  my  hand  ;  it  is  in  admiring 
the  long  columns  of  editorial,  and  wondering  to  myself  how 
in  the  mischief  he  did  it !    . 

Mr.  Goodman's  return  relieved  me  of  employment,  unless 
I  chose  to  become  a  reporter  again.  I  could  not  do  that ;  I 
could  not  serve  in  the  ranks  after  being  General  of  the  army. 
So  I  thought  I  would  depart  and  go  abroad  into  the  world 
somewhere.  Just  at  this  juncture,  Dan,  my  associate  in  the 
reportorial  department,  told  me,  casually,  that  two  citizens  had 
been  trying  to  persuade  him  to  go  with  them  to  New  York 
and  aid  in  selling  a  rich  silver  mine  which  they  had  discovered 
and  secured  in  a  new  mining  district  in  our  neighborhood-  He 
said  they  ofiered  to  pay  his  expenses  and  give  him  one  third 
of  the  proceeds  of  the  sale.  He  had  refused  to  go.  It  was 
the  very  opportunity  I  wanted.  I  abused  him  for  keeping  so 
quiet  about  it,  and  not  mentioning  it  sooner.  He  said  it  had 
not  occurred  to  him  that  I  would  like  to  go,  and  so  he  had 
recommended  them  to  apply  to  Marshall,  the  reporter  of  the 
other  paper.  I  asked  Dan  if  it  was  a  good,  honest  mine,,  and 
no  swindle.  He  said  the  men  had  shown  him  nine  tons  of  the. 
rock,  which  they  had  got  out  to  take  to  New  York,  and  he 
could  cheerfully  say  that  he  had  seen  but  little  rock,  iui  Wevadk 
that  was  richer ;  and  moreover,  he  said  that  they  had  secured 
a  tract  of  valuable  timber  and  a  mill-site,  near  the  mine;  My 
first  idea  was  to  kill  Dan.  But  I  changed  my  miiid,  notwith- 
standing I  was  so  angry,  for  I  thought  maybe  the  chance  was- 
not  yet  lost.  Dan  said  it  was  by  no  means  lost  j;  that  the  men 


were  absent  at  the  mine  again,  and  would  not  be  in  Virginia 
to  leave  for  the  East  for  some  ten  days ;  that  they  had  re- 
quested him  to  do  the  talking  to  Marshall,  and  he  had  promised 
that  he  would  either  secure  Marshall  or  somebody  else  for 
them  by  the  time  they  got  back ;  he  would  now  say  nothing 
to  anybody  till  they  returned,  and  then  fulfil  his  promise  by 
furnishing  me  to  them. 

It  was  splendid.  I  went  to  bed  all  on  fire  with  excite- 
ment ;  for  nobody  had  yet  gone  East  to  sell  a  ITevada  silver 
mine,  and  the  field  was  white  for  the  sickle.  I  felt  that  such 
a  mine  as  the  one  described  by  Dan  would  bring  a  princely 
sum  in  New  York,  and  sell  without  delay  or  difficulty.  I 
could  not  sleep,  my  fancy  so  rioted  through  its  castles  in  the 
air.     It  was  the  "blind  lead"  come  again. 

I^ext  day  I  got  away,  on  the  coach,  with  the  usual  eclat 
attending  ^epartiu-es  of  old  citizens, — for  if  you  have  only  half 
,  a  dozen  friends  out  there  they  will  make  noise  for  a  hundred 
rather  than  let  you  seem  to  go  away  neglected  and  unregretted 
—and  Dan  promised  to  keep  strict  watch  for  the  men  that  had 
the  mine  to  sell. 

The  trip  was  signalized  but  by  one  little  incident,  and  that 
occurred  just  as  we  were  about  to  start.  A  very  seedy  looking 
vagabond  passenger  got  out  of  the  stage  a  moment  to  wait 
till  the  usual  ballast  of  silver  bricks  was  thrown  in.  He  was 
standing  -on  the  pavement,  when  an  awkward  express  employe, 
carrying  a  brick  weighing  a  himdred  pounds,  stumbled  and 
let  it  fall  -on  the  bummer's  foot.  He  instantly  dropped  on  the 
ground  and  began  to  howl  in  the  most  heart-breaking  way.  A 
sympathizing  o-owd  gathered  around  and  were  going  to  pull 
his  boot  off;  but  he  screamed  louder  than  ever  and  they 
desisted ;  then  he  fellto  gasping,  and  between  the  gasps  ejacu- 
lated "Brandy !  for  Heaven's  sake,  brandy ! "  They  poured 
half  a  pint  down  him,  and  it  wonderfully  restored  and  com- 
forted him.  Then  he  begged  the  people  to  assist  him  to  the 
stage,  which  was  done.  The  express  people  urged  him  to 
have  a  doctor  at  their  expense,  but  he  declined,  and  said  that 
if  he  only  had  a  little  brandy  to  take  along  with  him,  to  soothe 



--  ^    « 

at    \  *  It     *- 

hie  paroxyms  of  pain  when  they  came  on,  he  would  be  grate- 
M  and  content.  He  was  quickly  supplied  with  two  bottles, 
and  we  drove  off.  He  was  so  smiling  and  happy  after  that, 
that  I  could  not  refrain  from  asking  him  how  he  could  possibly 
be    so    comfortable  ___ 

with  a  crushed  foot. 

"Well,"  said  he, 
"I  hadn't  had  a 
drink  for  twelve 
hours,  and  hadn't  a 
cent  to  my  name.  I 
was  most  perishing 
— ^and  so,  when  that 
duffer  dropped  that 
hundred-pounder  on 
ray  foot,  I  see  my 
chance.  Got  a  cork 
leg,  you  know ! "  and 
he  pulled  up  his  pan- 
taloons and  proved 

He  was  as  drunk 
as  a  lord  all  day  long, 
and  full  of  chuck- 
lings  over  his  timely 

One  drunken  

man  necessarily   re-  fabewell  and  accident. 

minds  one  of  an- 
other. I  ofice  heard  a  gentleman  tell  about  an  incident  which 
he  witnessed  in  a  Califomian  bar-room.  He  entitled  it  "  Ye 
Modest  Man  Taketh  a  Drink."  It  was  nothing  but  a  bit  of 
acting,  but  it  seemed  to  me  a  perfect  rendering,  and  worthy  of 
Toodles  himself.  The  modest  man,  tolerably  far  gone  wiih  beer 
and  other  matters,  enters  a  saloon  (twenty-five  cents  is  the  price 
for  anything  and  everything,  and  specie  the  only  money  used) 
and  lays  down  a  half  dollar;  calls  for  whiskey  and  drinks  it; 



the  bar-keeper  makes  change  and  lays  the  quarter  in  a  wet 
place  on  the  counter ;  the  modest  man  fumbles  at  it  with 
nerveless  fingers,  but  it  slips  and  the  water  holds  it ;  he  contem- 
plates it,  and  tries  again ;  same  result ;  observes  that  people 
are  interested  in  what  he  is  at,  blushes ;  fumblps  at  the  quarter 
again — blushes — puts  his  forefinger  carefully,  slowly  down,  to 
make  sure  of  his  aim — pushes  the  coin  toward  the  bar-keeper, 
and  says  with  a  sigh  : 

"  ('ie !)     Gimme  a  cigar ! " 

Naturally,  another  gentleman  present  tdd  about  another 
drunken  man.     He  said  he  reeled  toward  home  late  at  night ; 

made    a   mistake  and  en- 
tered    the    wrong    gate; 
thought  he  saw  a  dog  on 
the  stoop  ;  and  it  was — ^an 
iron  one.    He  stopped  and 
considered  ;  wondered  if 
it  was  a   dangerous  dog; 
ventured  to  say  "Be  (hie) 
begone!"  No  effect.  Then 
he     approached      warily, 
and  adopted  conciliation; 
up  his  lips  and  tried  to 
(thistle,  but  failed ;  stiU  approached, 
aying,  "  Poor  dog !— doggy,  doggy, 
loggy  ! — poor  doggy-dog ! "     Got 
up  on  the  stoop,  still  petting  with 
lond  names;  till  master  of  the  ad- 
vantages ;  then  exclaimed,  "  Leave, 
you  thief!" — planted  a  vindictive 
kick  in  his  ribs,  and  went  head-over- 
A  pause ;  a  sigh  or  two  of  paiu. 

'  GIMMR   A  CIGAR  !  ' 

heels  overboard,  of  course. 

and  then  a  remark  in  a  reflective  voice 

"Awful  solid  dog.  What  could  he  ben  eating?  ('ie!) 
Rocks,  p'raps.  Such  animals  is  dangerous.  'At's  what  /  say 
— they're  dangerous.  If  a  man — ('ic !)— if  a  man  wants  to 
feed  a  dog  on  rocks,  let  him/eed  him  on  rocks ;  'at's  all 



but  let  him  keep  him  at  home — not  have  him  layin'  round  pro- 
miscuous, where  ('ic !)  where  people's  liable  to  stumble  over 
him  when  they  ain't  noticin' ! " 

It  was  not  without  regret  that  I  took  a  last  look  at  the  tiny 
.  flag  (it  was  thirty-five  feet  long  and  ten  feet  wide)  fluttering 
like  a  lady's  handkerchief  fi*om  the  topmost  peak  of  Mount 
Davidson,  two  thousand  feet  above  Virginia's  roofs,  and  felt 
that  doubtless  I  was  bidding  a  permanent  farewell  to  a  city 
which  had  afforded  me  the  most  vigorous  enjoyment  of  life  I 
had  ever  experieiiced.  And  this  reminds  me  of  an  incident 
which  the  dullest  memory  Virginia  could  boast  at  the  time  it 
happened  must  vividly  recall,  at  times,  till  its  possessor  diee. 
Late  one  summer  afternoon  we  had  a  rain  shower.  That  was 
astonishing  enough,  in  itself,  to  set  the  whole  town  buzzing, 
for  it  only  rains  (during  a  week  or  two  weeks)  in  the  winter 
in  Ifevada,  and  even  then  not  enough  at  a  time  to  make  it 
worth  while  for  any  merchant  to  keep  umbrellas  for  sale.  But 
the  rain  was  not  the  chief  wonder.  It  only  lasted  five  or  ten 
minutes ;  while  tha.people  were  still  talking  about  it  all  the 
heavens  gathered  to  themselves  a  dense  blackness  as  of  mid- 
night.. All  the  vast  eastern  front  of  Mount  Davidson,  over- 
looking the  city,  put  on  such  a  funereal  gloom  that  only  the 
nearness  and  solidity  of  the  mountain  made  its  outlines  even 
faintly  distinguishable  from  the  dead  blackness  of  the  heavens 
they  rested  against.  This  unaccustomed  sight  turned  all  eyes 
toward  the  mountain ;  and  as  they  looked,  a  little  tongue  of 
rich  golden  flame  was  seen  waving  and  quivering  in  the  heart 
of  the  midnight,  away  up  on  the  extreme  summit !  In  a  few 
minutes  the  streets  were  packed  with  people,  gazing  with 
hardly  an  uttered  word,  at  the  one  brilliant  mote  in  the  brooding 
world  of  darkness.  It  flicked  like  a  candle-flame,  and  looked 
no  larger;  but  with  such  a  background  it  was  wonderfully 
bright,  small  as  it  was.  It  was  the  flag! — though  no  one  sus- 
pected it  at  first,  it  seemed  so  like  a  supernatural  visitor  of 
some  kind — a  mysterious  messenger  of  good  tidings,  some 
were  fain  to  believe.  It  was  the  nation's  emblem  transfigured 
by  the  departing  rays  of  a  sun  that  was  entirely  palled  from 



View ;  and  on  no  other  object  did  the  glory  fall,  m  all  the 
broad  panorama  of  mountain  ranges  and  deserts.  Not  even 
iipon  the  staff  of  the  flag-for  that,  a  needle  in  the  distance 
at  any  time,  was  now  untouched  by  the  light  and  undistm- 
guishable  in  the  gloom.  For  a  whole  hour  the  weird  visitor 
winked  and  burned  in  its  lofty  sohtude,  and  still  the  thousands 
of  uplifted  eyes  watched  it  with  fascmated  interest.  How  the 
people  were  wrought  up!  The  superstition  grew  apace  that 
this  was  a  mystic  courier  come  with  great  news  from  the  war 
—the  poetry  of  the  idea  excusing  and  commending  it— and  on 


it  spread,  from  heart  to  heart,  from  lip  to  Hp  and  from  street 
to  street,  till  there  was  a  general  impulse  to  have  out  the 
military  and  welcome  the  bright  waif  with  a  salvo  of  artillery. 
And  all  that  time  one  sorely  tried  man,  the  telegraph 
operator  sworn  to  official- secrecy,  had  to  lock  his  lips  and  chain 
his  tongue  with  a  silence  that  was  Hke  to  rend  them ;  for  he, 
and  he  only,  of  all  the  speculating  multitude,  knew  the  great 

GOOD    NEWS    FROM    THE    EAST.  407 

things  this  sinking  sun  had  seen  that  day  in  the  east — Yicks- 
burg  fallen,  and  the  Union  arms  victorious  at  Gettysburg ! 

But  for  the  journalistic  monopoly  that  forbade  the  slightest 
revealment  of  eastern  news  till  a  day  after  its  publication  in 
the  California  papers,  the  glorified  flag  on  Mount  Davidson 
would  have  been  saluted  and  re-saluted,  that  memorable  even- 
ing, as  long  as  there  was  a  charge  of  powder  to  thunder  with ; 
the  city  would  have  been  illuminated,  and  every  man  that  had 
any  respect  for  himself  would  have  got  drunk, — as  was  the 
custom  of  the  country  on  all  occasions  of  public  moment. 
Even  at  this  distant  day  I  cannot  think  of  this  needlessly 
marred  supreme  opportunity  without  regret.  What  a  time 
we  mighj:  have  had  1 


"TTTE  rumbled  over  the  plains  and  valleys,  climbed  tbe 
V  V  Sierras  to  the  clouds,  and  looked  down  upon  summer- 
clad  California.  And  I  will  remark  here,  in  passing,  that  all 
Scenery  in  California  requires  distance  to  give  it  its  highest 
charm.  The  mountains  are  imposing  in  their  sublimity  and 
their  majesty  of  form  and  altitude,  from  any  point  of  view — 
but  one  must  have  distance  to  soften  their  ruggedness  and  en- 
rich their  tintings ;  a  Califomian  forest  is  best  at  a  little  dis- 
tance, for  there  is  a  sad  poverty  of  variety  in  species,  the  trees 
being  chiefly  of  one  monotonous  family — redwood,  pine,  spruce, 
fir — and  so,  at  a  near  view  there  is  a  wearisome  sameness  of 
attitude  in  their  rigid  arms,  stretched  downward  and  outward 
in  one  continued  and  reiterated  appeal  to  all  men  to  "  Sh ! — 
don't  say  a  word ! — you  might  disturb  somebody ! "  Close  at 
hand,  too,  there  is  a  reliefless  and  relentless  smeU  of  pitch  and 
turpentine;  there  is  a  ceaseless  melancholy  in  their  sighing 
and  complaining  foliage ;  one  walks  over  a  soundless  carpet  of 
beaten  yellow  bark  and  dead  spines  of  the  foliage  till  he  feels 
like  a  wandering  spirit  bereft  of  a  footfall ;  he  tires  of  the  end- 
less tufts  of  needles  and  yearns  for  substantial,  shapely  leaves ; 
he  looks  for  moss  and  grass  to  loll  upon,  and  finds  none,  for 
where  there  is  no  bark  there  is  naked  clay  and  dirt,  enemies 
to  pensive  musing  and  clean  apparel.  Often  a  grassy  plain 
in  California,  is  what  it  should  be,  but  often,  too,  it  is  best 
contemplated  at  a  distance,  because  although  its  grass  blades 
are  tall,  they  stand  up  vindictively  straight  and  self-sufficient, 
and  are  unsociably  wide  apart,  with  uncomely  spots  of  barren 
sand  between. 

One  of  the  queerest  things  I  know^i^^s  to  hear  tourists 



from  "the  States"  go  into  ecstasies  over  the  loveliness  of 
"  ever-blooming  California."  And  they  always  do  go  into  that 
sort  of  ecstasies.  But  perhaps  they  -would  modify  them  if  they 
knew  how  old  Californians,  with  the  memory  full  upon  them 
of  the  dust-covered  and  questionable  summer  greens  of  Cali- 
fornian  "verdure," 
stand  astonished,  and 
filled  with  worship- 
ping admiration,in  the 
presence  of  the  lavish 
richness,  the  brilliant 
green,  the  infinite 
freshness,  the  spend- 
thrift variety  of  form 
and  species  and  foli- 
age that  make  an 
Eastern  landscape  a 
vision  of  Paradise  it- 
self. The  idea  of  a 
man  falling  into  rap- 
tures over  grave  and 
sombre  California, 
when    that  man  has 

seen  New  England's  meadow-expanses  and  her  maples,  oaks 
and  cathedral-windowed  elms  decked  in  summer  attire,  or  the 
opaline  splendors  of  autumn  descending  upon  her  forests,  comes 
very  near  being  funny — would  be,  in  fact,  but  that  it  is  so 
pathetic.  No  land  with  an  mivarying  climate  can  be  very 
beautiful.  The  tropics  are  not,  for  all  the  sentiment  that  is 
wasted  on  them.  They  seem  beautiful  at  first,  but  sameness 
impairs  the  charm  by  and  by.  Chcmge  is  the  handmaiden 
Nature  requires  to  do  her  miracles  with.  The  land  that  has 
four  well-defined  seasons,  cannot  lack  "beauty,  or  pall  with 
monotony.  Each  season  brings  a  world  of  enjoyment  and 
interest  in 'the  watching  of  its  unfolding,  its  gradual,  harmo- 
nious development,  its  culminating  graces— and  just  as  one 
begins  to  tire  of  it,  it  passes  away  and  a  radical  change  comes, 
with  new  witcheries  and  new  glories  in  its  train.    And  I  think" 




that  to  one  in  sympathy  with  nature,  each  season,  in  its  turn, 
seems  the  loveliest. 

San  Francisco,   a   truly  fascinating    city  to    lire  in,  is 

,.    -^^.Ov^y^S?-. 


stately  and  handsome  at  a  fair  distance,  but  close  at  hand 
one  notes  that  the  architecture  is  mostly  old-fashioned,  many 
streets  are  made  up  of  decaying,  smoke-grimed,  wooden 
houses,  and  the  barren  sand-hills  toward  the  outskirts  obtrude 
themselves  too  prominently.  Even  the  kindly  climate  is  some- 
times pleasanter  when  read  about  than  personally  experienced, 
for  a  lovely,  cloudless  sky  wears  out  its  welcome  by  and  by, 
and  then  when  the  longed  for  rain  does  come  it  stays.  Even 
the  playful  earthquake  is  better  contemplated  at  a  dis — 

However  there  are  varying  opinions  about  that. 

The  climate  of  San  Francisco  is  mild  and  singularly 
equable.  The  thermometer  stands  at  about  seventy  degrees 
the  year  round.  It  hardly  changes  at  all.  You  sleep  under 
one  or  two  light  blankets  Summer  and  Winter,  and  never  use 
a  mosquito  bar.  Nobody  ever  wears  Summer  clothing.  You 
wear  black  broadcloth — if  you  have  it — in  August  and  Janu- 
ary, just  the  same.  It  is  no  colder,  and  no  warmer,  in  the  one 
month  than  the  other.  You  do  not  use  overcoats  and  you  do 
not  use  fans.  It  is  as  pleasant  a  climate  as  could  well  be  con- 
trived, take  it  all  around,  and  is  doubtless  the  most  unvarying 
in  the  whole  world.    The  wind  blows  there  a  good  deal  in  the 


Summer  months,  but  then  you  can  go  over  to  Oakland,  if  you 
choose — three  or  four  miles  away — it  does  not  blow  there. 
It  has  only  snowed  twice  in  San  Francisco  in  nineteen  years, 
and  then  it  only  remained  on  the  ground  long  enough  to 
astonish  the  children,  and  set  them  to  wondering  what  the 
feathery  stuff  was. 

During  eight  months  of  the  year,  straight  along,  the  skies 
are  bright  and  cloudless,  and  never  a  drop  of  rain  falls.  But 
when  the  other  four  months  come  along,  you  will  need  to  go 
and  steal  an  umbrella.  Because  you  will  require  it.  Not  just 
one  day,  but  one  hundred  and  twenty  days  in  hardly  varying 
succession.  When  you  want  to  go  visiting,  or  attend  church, 
or  the  theatre,  you  never  look  up  at  the  clouds  to  see  whether 
it  is  likely  to  rain  or  not — ^you  look  at  the  almanac.  If  it  is 
Winter,  it  will  rain — and  if  it  is  Summer,  it  wonH  rain,  and 
you  cannot  help  it.  You  never  need  a  lightning-rod,  because 
it  never  thunders  and  it  never  lightens.  And  after  you  have 
listened  for  six  or  eight  weeks,  every  night,  to  the  dismal 
monotony  of  those  quiet  rains,  you  will  wish  in  your  heart  the 
thunder  would  leap  and  crash  and  roar  along  those  drowsy 
skies  once,  and  make  everything  alive — you  will  wish  the 
prisoned  lightnings  would  cleave  the  dull  firmament  asunder 
and  light  it  with  a  blinding  glare  for  OTie  little  instant.  You 
would  give  anything  to  hear  the  old  familiar  thunder  again 
and  see  the  lightning  strike  somebody.  And  along  in  the 
Summer,  when  you  have  suffered  about  four  months  of 
lustrous,  pitiless  sunshine,  you  are  ready  to  go  down  on  your 
knees  and  plead  for  rain — hail — snow — thunder  and  lightning 
— anything  to  break  the  monotony — you  will  take  an  earth- 
quake, if  you  cannot  do  any  better.  And  the  chances  are 
that  you'll  get  it,  too. 

San  Francisco  is  built  on  sand  hills,  but  they  are  prolific 
sand  hills.  They  yield  a  generous  vegetation.  All  the  rare 
flowers  which  people  in  "  the  States  "  rear  with  such  patient 
care  in  parlor  flower-pots  and  green-houses,  flourish  luxu- 
riantly in  the  open  air  there  all  the  year  round.  Calla  lilies,  all 
sorts  of  geraniums,  passion  flowers,  moss  roses — I  do  not  know 
the  names  of  a  tenth  part  of  them.    I  only  know  that  while 

412  THE    HOTTEST    PLACE    ON    EARTH. 

New  Yorkers  are  burdened  with  banks  and  drifts  of  snow, 
Californians  are  burdened  with  banks  and  drifts  of  flowers,  if 
they  only  keep  their  hands  off  and  let  them  grow.  And  I 
have  heard  that  they  have  also  that  rarest  and  most  curious  of 
all  the  flpwers,  the  beautiful  Espvritnjb  Scmto,  as  the  Spaniards 
call  jt — or  flower  of  the  Holy  Spirit — though  I  thought  it 
grew  only  in  Central  America — down  on  the  Isthmus.  In  its 
cup  is  the  daintiest  little  fac-simile  of  a  dove,  as  pure  as  snow. 
.The  Spaniards  have  a  superstitious  reverence  for  it.  The 
blossom  has  been  conveyed  to  the  States,  submerged  in  ether ; 
and  the  bulb  has  been  taken  thither  also,  but  every  attempt  to 
make  it  bloom  after  it  arrived,  has  failed. 

I  have  elsewhere  spoken  of  the  endless  "Winter  of  Mono, 
Califopnia,  and  but  this  moment  of  the  eternal  Spring  of  San 
Francisco.  Now  if  we  travel  a  hundred  miles  in  a  straight 
line,  we  come  to  the  eternal  Summer  of  Sacramento.  One 
never  sees  Summer-clothing  or  mosquitoes  in  San  Francisco — 
but  they  can  be  found  in  Sacramento.  Not  always  and 
jmvaryingly,  but  about  one  hundred  and  forty-three  months 
out  of  twelve  years,  perhaps.  Flowers  bloom  there,  always, 
the  reader  can  easily  believe — people  suffer  and  sweat,  and 
swear,  morning,  noon  and  night,  and  wear  out  their  stanchest 
energies  fanning  themselves.  It  gets  hot  there,  but  if  you  go 
down  to  Fort  Yuma  you  will  find  it  hotter.  Fort  Xuma  is 
probably  the  hottest  place  on  earth.  The  thermometer  stays  at 
one  hundred  and  twenty  in  the  shade  there  aU  the  time — except 
when  it  varies  and  goes  higher.  It  is  a  U.  S.  military  post, 
and  its  occupants  get  so  used  to  the  terrific  heat  that  they 
suffer  without  it.  There»is  a  tradition  (attributed  to  John 
Phenix*)  that  a  very,  very  wicked  soldier  died  there,  once,  and 
of  course,  went  straight  to  the  hottest  corner  of  perdition, — and 
the  next  day  he  telegraphed  hack  for  his  Mankets.  There  is 
no  doubt  about  the  truth  of  this  statement— r-th ere  can  be  no 
doubt  about  it.  I  have  seen  the  place  where  that  soldier  used 
to  board.  In  Sacramento  it  is  fiery  Summer  always,  and  you 
can  gather  roses,  and  eat  strawberries  and  ice-cream,  and  wear 

*  It  has  been  purloined  by  fifty  different  scribblers  who  were  too  poor  to 
invent  a  fancy  but  not  ashamed  to  steal  one. — M.  T. 



white  linen  clothes,  and  pant  and  perspire,  at  eight  or  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  then  take  the  cars,  and  at  noon 
put  on  your  furs  and  your  skates,  and  go  skimming  over  frozen 



Donner  Lake,  seven  thousand  feet  above  the  valley,  among 
snow  banks  fifteen  feet  deep,  and  in  the  shadow  of  grand 
mountain  peaks  that  lift  their  frosty  crags  ten  thousand  feet 
above  the  level  of  the  sea.  There  is  a  transition  for  yon .' 
"Where  will  you  find  another  like  it  in  the  "Western  hemis- 
phere? And  some  of  us  have  swept  around  snow-waUed. 
curves  ,of  the  Pacific  Kailroad  in  that  vicinity,  six  thousand 
feet  above  the  sea,  and  looked  down  as  the  birds  do,  upon  the 
deathless  Summer  of  the  Sacramento  Yalley,  with  its  fruitful 
fields,  its  feathery  foliage,  its  silver  streams,  all  slumbering  in 
the  mellow  haze  of  its  enchanted  atmosphere,  and  all  infinitely 
softened  and  spiritualized  by  distance — a  dreamy,  exquisite 
glimpse  of -fairyland,  made  all  the  more  charming  and  striking 
that  it  was  caught  through  a  forbidden  gateway  of  ice  and 
snow,  and  savage  crags  and  precipices.  » 


IT  was  in  this  Sacramento  Valley,  just  referred  to,  that  a  deal 
of  the  most  lucrative  of  the  early  gold  mining  was  done, 
and  you  may  still  see,  in  places,  its  grassy  slopes  and  levels 
torn  and  guttered  and  disfigured  by  the  avaricious  spoilers  of 
fifteen  and  twenty  years  ago.  You  may  see  such  disfigure- 
ments far  and  wide  over  California — and  in  some  such  places, 
where  only  meadows  and  forests  are  visible — not  a  living 
creature,  not  a  house,  no  stick  or  stone  or  remnant  of  a  ruin, 
and  not  a  sound,  not  even  a  whisper  to  disturb  the  Sabbath 
stillness — you  will  find  it  hard  to  believe  that  there  stood  at 
one  time  a  fiercely-flourishing  little  city,  of  two  thousand  or 
three  thousand  souls,  with  its  newspaper,  fire  company,  brass 
band,  volunteer  militia,  bank,  hotels,  noisy  Fourth  of  July 
processions  and  speeches,  gambling  hells  crammed  with  to- 
bacco smoke,  profanity,  and  rough-bearded  men  of  all  nations 
and  colors,  with  tables  heaped  with  gold  dust  sufficient  for  the 
revenues  of  a  German  principality — streets  crowded  and  rife 
with  business — town  lots  worth  four  hundred  dollars  a  front 
foot — ^labor,  laughter,  music,  dancing,  swearing,  fighting,  shoot- 
ings, stabbing — a  bloody  inquest  and  a  man  for  breakfast  every 
morning — everything  that  delights  and  adorns  existence — all 
the  appointments  and  appurtenances  of  a  thriving  and  pros- 
perous and  promising  young  city, — and  now  nothing  is  left  of 
it  all  but  a  lifeless,  homeless  solitude.  The  men  are  gone, 
the  houses  have  vanished,  even  the  name  of  the  place  is  for- 
gotten.   In  no  other  land,  in  modern  times,  have  towns  so 


absolutely  died  and  disappeared,  as  in  the  old  mining  regions 
of  California. 

It  was  a  driving,  vigorous,  restless  population  in  those  days. 
It  was  a  curious  population.  It  was  the  only  population  of  the 
kind  that  the  world  has  ever  seen  gathered  together,  and  it  is 
not  likely  that  the  world  will  ever  see  its  like  again.  For, 
observe,  it  was  an  aseemblage  of  two  hundred  thousand  young 
men — not  simpering,  dainty,  kid-gloved  weaklings,  but  stal- 
wart, muscular,  dauntless  young  braves,  brimful  of  push  and 
energy,  and  royally  endowed  with  every  attribute  that  goes  to 
make  up  a  peerless  and  magnificent  manhood — the  very  pick 
and  choice  of  the  world's  glorious  ones.  No  women,  no 
children,  no  gray  and  stooping  veterans, — none  but  erect, 
bright-eyed,  quick-moving,  strong-handed  young  giants — the 
strangest  population,  the  finest  population,  ^the  most  gallant 
host  that  ever  trooped  down  the  startled  solitudes  of  an 
unpeopled  land.  And  where  are  they  now?  Scattered  to 
the  ends  of  the  earth — or  prematurely  aged  and  decrepit — or 
shot  or  stabbed  in  street  afirays — or  dead  of  disappointed 
hopes  and  broken  hearts — all  gone,  or  nearly  all — victims 
devoted  upon  the  altar  of  the  golden  calf — the  noblest  holo- 
caust that  ever  wafted  its  sacrificial  incense  heavenward.  It 
is  pitiful  to  think  upon. 

It  was  a  splendid  population — for  all  the  slow,  sleepy,  slug- 
gish-brained sloths  staid  at  home — you  never  find  that  sort  of 
people  among  pioneers — you  cannot  build  pioneers  out  of 
that  sort  of  material.  It  was  that  population  that  gave  to 
California  a  name  for  getting  up  astounding  enterprises  and 
rushing  them  through  with  a  magnificent  dash  and  daring  and 
,a  recklessness  of  cost  or  consequences,  which  she  bears  unto 
this  day — ^and  when  she  projects  a  new  surprise,  the  grave  world 
s&iles  as  usual,  and  says  "  Welli,  that  is  California  all  over." 

But  they  were  rough  in  those  times !  They  fairly  reveled 
in  gold,  whisky,  fights,  and  fandangoes,  and  were  unspeak- 
ably happy.  The  honest  miner  raked  from  a  hundred  to 
a  thousand  dollars  out  of  his  claim  a  day,  and  what  with 
the  gambling  dens  and  the  other  entertainments,  he  hadn't  a 


A    WOMAN!    A    WOMAN! 

cent  tlie  next  morning,  if  he  had  any  sort  of  luck.  They 
cooked  their  own  bacon  and  heans,  sewed  on  their  own 
buttons,  washed  their  own  shirts — ^blue  woollen  ones ;  and  if 
a  man  wanted  a  fight  on  his  hands  without  any  annoying 
delay,  all  he  had  to  do  was  to  appear  in  public  in  a  white 
shirt  or  a  stove-pipe  hat,  and  he  would  be  accommodated.  For 
those  people  hated  aristocrats.  They  had  a  particular  and 
malignant  animosity  toward  what  they  called  a  "  biled  shift." 

It  was  a  wild,  free,  disorderly,  grotesque  society !  Men — 
only  swarming  hosts  of  stalwart  men — ^nothing  juvenile,  noth- 
ing feminine,  visible  anywhere ! 

In  those  (lays  miners  would  flock  in  crowds  to  catch  a 
glimpse  of  that  rare  and  blessed  spectacle,  a  woman !     Old 


inhabitants'  tell  how,  in  a  certain  camp,  the  news  went  abroad 
early  in  the  morning  that  a  woman  was  come !  They  had 
seen  a  calico  dress  hanging  put  of  a  wagon  down  at  the 
camping-ground — sign  of  emigrants  from  over  the  great  plains. 
Everybody  went  down  there^  and  a  shout  went  up  when  an 



actual,  bona  fide  dress  was  discovered  fluttering  in  the  wind  I 
The  male  emigrant  was  visible.     The  miners  said : 

"  Fetch  her  out ! " 

He  said :  "  It  is  my  wife,  gentlemen — she  is  sick — we  have 
been  robbed  of  money,  provisions,  everything,  by  the  Indiana 
— :we  want  to  rest." 

"  Fetch  her  out !     "We've  got  to  see  her ! " 

"  But,  gentlemen,  the  poor  thing,  she — " 

"  Fetch  hek  out  ! " 

He  "  fetched  her  out,"  and  they  swung  their  hats  and  sent  up 
three  rousing  cheers  and  a  tiger ;  and  they  crowded  around  and 
gazed  at  her,  and  touched  her  dress,  and  listened  to  her  voice 
with  the  look  of  men  who  listened  to  a  memory  rather  than  a 
present  reality — and  then  they  collected  twenty-five  hundred 
dollars  in  gold  and  gave  it  to  the  man,  and  swung  their  hats 
again  and  gave  three  more  cheers,  and  went  home  satisfied. 

Once  I  dined  in  San  Francisco  with  the  family  of  a 
pioneer,  and  talked  with  his  daughter,  a  young  lady  whose 
first  experi- 
ence in  San 
Francisco  was 
an  adventure, 
though  she 
herself  did  not 
remember  it, 
as  she  was 
only  two  or 
three  years  old 
at  the  time. 
Her  father, 
said  that,  after 
landitig  from 
the  ship,  they 
were  waffiiing 
up  the  street, 
a  servant  lead-  "  ^'=^'"  ^  "  ^"'"'  ^  *'='^" ' " 

ing  the  party  with  the  little  girl  in  her  arms.     And  presently 




a  huge  miner,  bearded,  belted,  spurred,  and  bristling  with 
deadly  weapons — just  down  from  a  long  campaign  in  the 
mountains,  evidently — barred  the  way,  stopped  the  servant, 
and  stood  gazing,  with  a  face  all  alive  with  gratification  and 
astonishment.     Then  he  said,  reverently : 

"  Well,  if  it  ain't  a  child !  "    And  then  he  snatched  a  little 
leather  sack  out  of  his  pocket  and  said  to  the  servant : 

"  There's  a  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  in  dust,  there,  and 
I'll  give  it  to  you  to  let  me  kiss  the  child ! " 

That  anecdote  is  true. 

But  see  how  things  change.     Sitting  at  that  dinner-table, 

.  listening  to  that  anecdote,  if  I  had  otfered  double  the  money 

for  the  privilege  of  kissing  the  same  child,  I  would  have  been 

refused.     Seventeen  added  years  have  far  more  than  doubled 

the  price. 

And  while  upon  this  subject  I  will  remark  that  once  in 
Star  City,  in  the  Humboldt  Mountains,  I  took  my  place  in 
a  sort  of  longj  post-office  single  file  of  miners,  to  patiently 
await  my  chance  to  peep  through  a  crack  in  the  cabin  and  get 
a  sight  of  the  splendid  new  sensation — a  genuine,  live  Woman ! 
.And  at  the  end  of  half  of  an  hour  my  turn  came,  and  I  put* 
my  eye  to  the  crack,  and  there  she  was,  with  one  arm  akimbo, 
and  tossing  flap-jacks  in  a  frying-pan  with  the  other.  And 
she  was  one  hundred  and  sixty-five*  years  old,  and  hadn't  a 
tooth  in  her  head. 

*  Being  in  calmer  mood,  now,  I  voluntarily  knock  off  a  hundred  from 
that.— M.  T. 


FOE  a  few  months  I  enjoyed  what  to  me  was  an  entirely 
new  phase  of  existence — a  butterfly  idleness ;  nothing  to 
do,  nobody  to  be  res^ponsible  to,  and  untronbled  with  financial 
uneasiness.  I  fell  in  love  with  the  most  cordial  and  sociable 
city  in  the  Union.  After  the  sage-brush  and  alkali  deserts  of 
Washoe,  San  Francisco  was  Paradise  to  me.  I  lived  at  the 
best  hotel^  exhibited  my  clothes  in  the  most  conspicuous  places, 
infested  the  opera,  ;and  learned  to  seem  enraptured  with  music 
which  oftener  afflioted  my  ignorant  ear  tha,n  enchanted  it,  if  I 
had  had  the  vulgar  honesty  to  confess  it.  However,  I  suppose 
I  was  not  greatly  worse  than  the  most  of  my  countrymen  in  that. 
I  had  longed  to  be  a  butterfly,  and  I  was  one  at  last.  I  attended 
private  parties  in  sumptuous  evening  dress,  simpered  and  aired 
my  graces  like  a„teom  beau,  and  polked  and  schottisched  with 
a  step  peculiar  to  myself— and  the  kangaroo.  In  a  word,  I  kept 
the  due  state  of  a  man  worth  a  hufidred  thousand  dollars  (pros- 
pectively,) and  likely  to  reach  absolute  afliluence  when  that  silver- 
mine  sale  should  be  ultimately  achieved  in  the  East.  I  spent 
money  with  a  free  hand,  and  meantime  watched  the  stock  sales 
with  an 'interested  eye  and  looked  to  see  what  might  happen  in 

Something  very  important  happened.  The  property  hold- 
ers of  Nevada  vote^i  against  the  State  Constitution ;  but  the 
folks  who  had  nothing  to  lose  were  in  the  majority,  and  carried 
the  measure  over  their  heads.  But  after  all  it  did  not  imme- 
diately look  like  a  disaster,  though  unquestionably  it  was  one. 



I  hesitated,  calculated  the  chances,  and  then  concluded  not  to 
sell.  Stocks  went  on  rising;  speculation  went  inad  ;  bankers, 
merchants,  lawyers,   doctors,  mechanics,   laborers,  even  the 

very  washerwomen 
and  servant  girls, 
were  putting  up 
their  earnings  on 
silver  stocks,  and 
every  sun  that  rose 
in  the  morning 
went  down  on  pau- 
pers enriched  and 
rich  men  beggared. 
What  a  gambling 
carnival  it  was! 
Gould  and  Curry 
soared  to  six  thou-' 
sand  three  hundred, 
dollars  a  foot !  And 
then — all  of  a  sud- 
den, out  went  the 
bottom  and  everything  and  everybody  went  to  rijin  and  destruc- 
tion !  The  wreck  was  complete.  The  bubble  scarcely  left  a  I  was  an  "early  ^beggar  and  a, 
thorough  one.  My  hoarded.' stocks  were  not  wortB  the  paper 
they  were  printed  on.  I  threw  them  all  away.  I,  the  cheer- 
fiil  idiot  that  had  been  squandering  money  like  water,  and 
thought  myself*  beyond  the  reach  of  misfortune,  had  not  now 
as  much  as  fifty  dollars  when  I  gathered  together  my  various 
debts  and  paid  them.  I  removed  from  the  hotel  to  a  very  pri- 
vate boarding  house.  I  took  a  reporter's  berth  and  went  to 
work.  I  was  not  entirely  broken  in  spirit,  for  I  was  building 
confidently-;  on  the  sale  of  the  silver  mine  in  the  east.  But  I 
could  not  hear  from'  Dan.  My  letters  m&carried  or  were  not 
anstrered,,  ^ 

One  day  I  did  not  feel  vigorous  and  remained  away  from  the 
office.     The  next  day  I  went  down  toward  noon  as  usual,  and 




jfound  a  note  on  my  desk  which  had  been  there  twenty-foui- 
hours.  It  was  signed  "  Marshall " — the  Virginia  reporter— 
and  contained  a  request  that  I  should  call  at  the  hotel  and  see 
him  and  a  friend  or  two  that  night,  as  they  would  sail  for  the 
east  in  the  morning.  A  postscript  added  that  their  errand  was 
a  big  mining  speculation  !  I  was  hardly  ever  so  sick  in  my 
life.  I  abused  myself  for  leaving  Virginia  and  entrusting  to 
another  man  a  matter  I  ought  to  have  attended  to  myself ;  I 
abused  myself  for  remaining  away  from  the  office  on  the  one 
day  of  all  the  year  that  1  should  have  been  there.  And  thus 
berating  myself  I  trotted  a  mile  to  the  steamer  wharf  and 
arrived  just  in  time  to  be  too  late.  The  ship  was  in  the  stream 
and  under  way. 

I  comforted  myself  with  the  thought  that  may  be  the  specu- 
lation Vould  amount  to  nothings — 
I  poor  comfojt  at  best — and  then  went 
back  to  my  slavery,  resolved'  to  put 
up  with  my  thirty-live  dollars  a  week 
and  forget  all  about  it. 
f  A  month  afterward  I  enjoyed  my 
first  earthquake.  It  was  one  which 
was  long  called  the  "  great "  earth- 
quake, and  is  doubtless  so  distinguish- 
ed till  this  day.  It  was  j  ust  after  noon, 
on  Sk  bright  October  day.  I  was  com- 
ing dpwn  Third  street.  The  only 
objects  in  motion  anywhere  in  sight 
in  that  thickly  built  and  populous 
qj;iarter,  were  a  tnan  in  a  buggy  behind 
me,  and  a  street  car  wending  slowly 
up  the  cross  street.  Otherwise,  all 
was  solitude  and  a  Sabbath  stillness.  As  I  turned  the  corner, 
around  a  frame  house,  there  was  a  great  rattle  and  jar,  and  it 
occurred  to  me  that  here  was  an  item! — no  doubt  a  light  in 
that  house.  Before  I  could  turn  and  seek  the  door,  there  came 
a  really  terrific  shock;  the  ground  seemed  to  roll  under  me  in 
waves,  interrupted  by  a  violent  joggling  up  and  down,  and 




there  was  a  heavy  grinding  noise  as  of  brick  houses  rubbing 
together.  I  fell  up  against  the  frame  house  and  hurt  my  elbow. 
I  knew  what  it  was,  now,  and  from  mere  reportorial  instinct, 
nothing  else,  took  out  my  watch  and  noted  the  time  of  day ; 
at  that  moment  a  third  and  still  severer  shock  came,  and  as  I 
reeled  about  on  the  pavement  trying  to  keep  my  footing,  I  saw 
a  sight !  The  entire  front  of  a  tall  four-story  brick  building 
in  Third  street  sprung  outward  like  a  door  and  fell  sprawhng 
across  the  street,  raising  a  dust  like  a  great  volume  of  smoke ! 
And  here  came  the  buggy — overboard  went  the  man,  and  in 


less  time  than  I  can^tell  it  the  vehicle  was  distributed  in  small 
fragments  along;  three  hundred  yards  of  street.  One  could 
have  fancied  that  somebody  had  fired  a  charge  of  chair-rounds 
aijd  rags  down  the  thoroughfare.  The  street  car  had  stopped, 
the  horses  were  rearing  and  plunging,  the  passengers  were 
pouring  out  at  both  ends,  and  one  fat  man  had  crashed  half 
way  through  a  glass  window  on  one  side  of  the  car,  got  wedged 
fast  and  was  squirming  and  screaming  like  an  impaled  madmaii. 



Every  door,  of  every  house,  as  far  as  the  eye  eonld  reach,  was 
vpmiting  a  stream  of  human  beings ;  and  ahnost  before  one 
could  execute  a  wink  and 

begin  another,  there  was 
a  massed  multitude  of 
people  stretching  in  end- 
less procession  down  ev- 
ery street  my  position 
commanded.  Never  was 
solemn  solitude  turned 
into  teeming  life  quicker. 
Of  the  wonders 
wrought  by  "  the  great 
earthquake,"  these  were 
all  that  came  under  my 
eye ;  but  the,  tricks  it  did, 
elsewhere,  and  far  and 
wide  over  the  town,  made 

toothsome  gossip  for  nine  days. 


The  destruction  of  prop- 
erty was  'trifting — the  injury 
to  it  was  wide-spi-ead  and 
somewhat  serious. 

The  "  curiosities "  of  the 
earthquake  were  simply  end- 
less. Gentlemen  and  ladies 
who  were  sick,  or  were  tak- 

[.rS"    ing  a  siesta,  or  had  dissipa- 

ted till  a  late  hour  and  were 
making  up  lost  sleep,  throng- 
ed into  the  public  streets  in 
all  sorts  of  queer  apparel,  and 
some  without  any  at  all.  One 
woman  who  had  been  wash* 
ing  a  naked  child,  ran  down 
the  street  holding  it  by  the 
ankles  as  if  it  were  a  dressed  turkey.  Prominent  citizens  who 
were  supposed  to  keep  the  Sabbath  strictly,  rushed  out  of  saloons 




in  their  shirt-sleeves,  with  billiard  cues  in  their  hands.  Doz- 
ens  of  men  with  necks  swathed  in  napkins,  rushed  from 
barber-shops,  lathered  to  the  eyes  or  with  one  cheek  clean 
shaved  and  the  other  still  bearing  a  hairy  stubble.  Horses  broke 
iVom  stables,  and  a  frightened  dog  rushed  up  a  short  attic  ladder 
and  out  on  to  a  roof,  and  when  his  scare  was  over  had  not  the 
nerve  to  go  down  again  the  same  way  he  had  gone  up.    A 


prominent  editor  fle^  down  stairs,  in  the  principal  hotel,  with 
nothing  on  but  one  brief  undergarment — met  a  chambermaid, 
and  exclaimed : 

"  Oh,  what  sJudl  I  do !    Where  shall  I  go  !" 

She  responded  with  naive  serenity : 

"  If  you  have  no  choice,  you  might  try  a  ciothing-stoi% !" 

A  certain  foreign  consul's  lady  was  the  acknowledged  leader 
of  fashion,  and  every  time  she  appeared  in  anything  new  or 
extraordinary,  the  ladies  in  the  vicinity  made  a  raid  on  theit 
husbands'  purses  and  arhiyed  themselves  similarly.    One  maa 



■who  had  suffered  considerably  and  growled  accordingly,  was 
standing  at  the  window  when  the  shocks  came,  and  the  next, 
instant  the  consul's  wife,  just  out  of  the  bath,  fled  by  with  no 
o<''.er  apology  for  clothing  than — a  bath-towel!  The  sufferer 
rose  superior'  to  the  terrors  of  the  earthquake,  and  said  to  his 

wife : 


"Now  that  is  something  Uke\    Get  out  your  towel  my 

The  plastering  that  fell  from  ceilings  in  San  Francisco  that 

day,  would    have    covered 

several  acres  of  ground.  For  "-•  *^ 
some  days  afterward,  groups 
of  eyeing  and  pointing  men 
stood  about  many  a  building, 
looking  at  long  zig-zag 
cracks  that  extended  from 
the  eaves  to  the  ground. 
Four  feet  of  the  tops  of  three 
chimneys  on  one  house  were 
broken  square  off  and  turned 
around  in  such  a  way  as  to 
completely  stop  the  draft. 
A  crack  a  hundred  feet  long 
gaped  open  six  inches  wide 
in  the  middle  of  one  street 
and  then  shut  togetheragain 
with  such  force,  as  to  ridge  up  the  laaeeting  earth  like  a  slender 
grave.  A  lady  sitting  in  her  rocking  and  quaking  parlor,  saw 
the  wall  part  at  the  ceiling,  open  and  shut  twice,  like  a  mouth, 
and  then-drop  the  end  of  a  brick  on  the  floor  like  a  tooth.  She 
was  a  woman  easily  disgusted  with  foolishness,  and  she  arose  and 
went  out  of  there.  One  lady  who  was  coming  down  stairs 
was  astonished  to  see  a  bronze  Hercules  lean  forward  on  its 
pedestal  as  if  to  strike  her  with  its  club.  They  both  reached 
ihe.  bottom  of  the  flight  at  the  same  time, — the  woman  insen- 
sible from  the  fright.  Her  child,  bom  some  little  time  after- 
ward,  was  club-footed.    However— on  second  thought, — ^if  the 

"get  OCT  rOCR  TOWEL,   MT  DEAR." 



reader  sees  any  coincidence  in  this,  he  must  do  it  at  his  own 
risk.  ;,, 

The  first  shock  brought  down  two  or  three  huge  organ-pipes 
in  one  of  the  churches.  The  minister,  with  uplifted  han:'s, 
was  just  closing  the  services.  He  glanced  up,  hesitated,  and 

"  However,  we  will  omit  the  benediction !" — and  the  next 
instant  there  was  a  vacancy  in  the  atmosphere  where  he  had 
stood.     ^ 

After  the  first  shock,  an  Oakland  minister  said  : 

"Keep  your  seats! 
There  is  no  better  place 
to  die  than  this  " — 

And  added,  after  the 
tliird : 

"But  outside  is  good 
enough !"  He  tlien  skip- 
ped out  at  the  back  door. 
Such  another  destruc- 
tion of  mantel  ornaments 
and  toilet  bottles  as  the 
(-  irthquake  created,  San 
iVahcisco  never  saw  be- 
iure.  There  was  hardly 
a  girl  or  a  matron  in  the 
city  but  suffered  losses  of 
this  kind.  Suspended  pictures  were  thrown  down,  but  oftener 
still,  by  a  curious  freak  of  the  earthquake's  humor,  they  were 
whirled  completely  around  with  their  faces  to  the  wall !  There 
was  great  difference  of  opinion,  at  first,  as  to  the  course  or 
direction  the  earthquake  traveled,  but  water  that  splashed  out 
of  various  tanks  and  buckets  settled  that.  Thousands  of  people 
were  made  so  sea-sick  by  the  rolling  and  pitching  of  floors  and 
streets  that  they  were  weak  and  bed-ridden  for  hours,  and  some 
few  for  even  days  afterward. — 'Hardly  an  individual  escaped 
naugoa  entirely. 

The  queer  earthquake-^-episodes  that  formed  the  staple  of 



San  Francisco  gossip  for  the  next  week  would  fill  a  much 
larger  book  than  this,  and  so  I  will  diverge  from  the  subject. 

By  and  by,  in  the  due  course  of  things,  I  picked  up  a  copy 
of  the  EnUrjgrise  one  day,  and  fell  under  this  cruel  blow  : 

Nevada  Mines  in  New  York.— G.  M.  Marshall,  Sheba  Hurs  and  Amos  H. 
Kose,  who  left  San  Francisco  last  July  for  New  York  City,  with  ores  from  min,e8 
in  Pine  Wood  District,  Humboldt  County,  and  on  the  Eeese  River  range,  have 
disposcjl  of  a  mine  containing  six  thousand  feet  and  called  the  Pine  Mountains 
Consolidated,  for  the  sura  of  $3,000,000.  The  stamps  on  the  deed,  which  is  now 
on  its  way  to  Humboldt  County,  from  New  York,  for  record,  amounted  to  ?3,000, 
which  is  said  to  be  the  largest  amount  of  stamps  ever  placed  on  one  document.  A 
working  capital  of  11,000,000  has  been  paid  into  the  treasury,  and  machinery  has 
already  been  purchased  for  a  large  quartz  mill,  which  will  be  put  up  as  soon  as 
possible.  The  stock  in  this  company  is  all  full  paid  and  entirely  unassessable. 
The  ores  of  the  mines  in  this  district  somewhat  resemble  those  of  the  Sheba  mine 
in  Humboldt.  Sheba  Hurst,  tLe  discoverer  of  the  mines,  with  his  fiiends  cor- 
ralled all  the  best  leads  and  all  the  land  and  timber  thay  desired  before  making 
public  their  whereabouts.  Ores  from  there,  assayed  in  this  city,  showc  d  tliem  to 
be  exceedingly  rich  in  silver  and  gold— silver  predominating.  There  is  an  abund- 
ance of  wood  and  water  in  the  District.  We  are  glad  to  know  that  New  York 
capital  has  been  enlisted  in  the  development  of  the  mines  of  this  region.  Having 
seen  the  ores  and  assays,  we  are  satisfied  that  the  mines  of  the  District  are  very 
valuable — anything  but  wild-cat. 

Once  more  native  imbecility  had  carried  the  day,  and  I  had 
lost  a  million  !     It  was  the  "  blind  lead  "  over  again. 

Let  us  not  dwell  on  this  miserable  matter.  If  I  were  invent- 
ing these  things,  I  could  be  wonderfully  humorous  over  them ; 
but  they  are  too  true  to  be  talked  of  with  hearty  levity,  even 
at  this  distant  day.*  Suffice  it  that  I  so  lost  heart,  and  so 
yielded  myself  up  to  repinings  and  sigbings  and  foolish  regrets, 
that  I  neglected  my  duties  and  became  about  worthless,  as  a 
reporter  for  a  brisk  newspaper.  And  at  last  one  of  the  propri- 
etors took  me  aside,  with  i,  charity  I  still  remember  with  con- 
siderable respect,  an^  gave  me  an  opportunity  to  resign  my 
berth  and  so  save  myself  the  disgrace  of  a  dismissal. 

*True,  and  yet  not  exactly  as  given  in  the  above  figures,  possibly.  J  saw  Mar- 
shall, months  afterward,  and  although  he  had  plenty  of  money  he  did  not  claim 
to  have  captured  an  entire  miUvm.  In  fact  I  gathered  that  he  had  not  then  re- 
ceived $50,000.  Beyond  that  figure  his  fortune  appeared  to  consist  of  uncertain 
vast  expectations  rather  than  prodigious  certainties.  However,  when  the  above 
Item  appeared  in  print  I  put  full  faith  in  it,  and  incontinently  wilted  and  went 
to  seed  under  it. 


FOE  a  time  I  wrote  literary  screeds  for  the  Golden  Era. 
C.  H.  Webb  had  established  i  very  excellent  literary 
weekly  called  the  Califmmian,  but  high  merit  was  no  guaranty 
of  success;  it  languished,  and  he  sold  out  to  three  printere,  and 
Bret  Ilarte  became  editor  at  $20  a  week,  and  I  was  employed 
to  contribute  an  article  a  week  at  $12.  But  the  journal  still 
languished,  and  the  printers  sold  out  to  Captain  Ogden,  a  rich 
man  and  a  pleasant  gentleman  who  choose  to  amuse  himself 
with  such  an  expensive  luxury  without  much  caring  about  the 
cost  of  it.  When  he  grew  tired  of  the  novelty,  he  re-sold  to 
the  printers,  the  paper  presently  died  a  peaceful  deatli,  and  I  was 
out  of  work  again.  I  would  not  mention  these  things  but  for 
the  fact  that  they  so  aptly  illustrate  the  ups  and  downs  that 
characterize  life  on  the  Pacific  coast  A  man  could  hardly  stum- 
ble into  such  a  variety  of  queer  vicissitudes  in  any  other 

For  two  months  my  sole  occupation  was  avoiding  acquaint- 
ances ;  for  during  that  time  I  did  not  earn  a  penny,  or  buy  an 
article  of  any  kind,  or  pay  my  board.  I  became  a  very  adept 
at  "  slinking."  I  slunk  from  back  street  to  back  street,  I  slunk 
away  from  approaching  faces  that  looked  familiar,  I  slunk  to  my 
meals,  ate  them  humbly  and  with  a  mute  apology  for  every 
mouthful  I  robbed  my  generous  landlady  of,  and  at  midnight^ 
after  wanderings  that  were  but  slinkings  away  from  cheerful- 
ness and  light,  I  slunk  to  my  bed.  I  felt  meaner,  and  lowlier 
and  more  despicable  than  the  worms.     During  all  this  time  I 



had  but  one  piece  of  money — a  silver  ten  cent  piece — and  I  l\eld 
to  it  and  would  not  spend  it  on  any  account,  lest  the  conscious- 
ness coining  strong  upon  me  tliat  I  was  entirely  penniless, 
might  suggest  suicide.  I  had  pawned  every  thing  hut  the 
clothes  I  had  on ;  so  I  clung  to 
my  dime  desperately,  till  it  was 
smooth  with  handling. 

However,  I  am  forgetting. 
I  did  have  one  otlier  occupation 
beside  that  of  "  slinking."  It 
was  the  entertaining  of  a  col- 
lector (and  being  entertained 
by  him,)  who  had  in  his  hands 
the  Virginia  banker's  bill  for 
the  forty-six  dollars  which  I 
had  loaned  my  schoolmate,  the 
"Prodigal."  This  man  used  to 
call  regularly  once  a  week  and 
dun  me,  and  sometimes  oftener. 
He  did  it  from  sheer  force  of 
habit,  for  he  knew  he  could  get 
nothing.     He  would  get   out  slinking. 

his  bill,  calculate  the  interest  for  me,  at  five  per  cent  a  month, 
and  show  me  clearly  that  there  was  no  attempt  at  fraiid  in  it 
and  no  mistakes ;  and  then  plead,  and  argue  and  dun  with  all 
his  might  for  any  sum — any  little  trifle — even  a  dollar — even 
half  a  dollar,  on  account.  Then  his  duty  was  accomplished 
and  his  conscience  free.  He  immediately  dropped  the  subject 
there  always ;  got  out  a  couple  of  cigars  and  divided,  put  his 
feet  in  th*  window,  and  then  we  would  have  a  long,  luxurious  talk 
about  everything  and  everybody,  and  he  would  furnish  me  a 
world  of  curious  dunning  adventures  out  of  the  ample  store  in 
his  rtiemory.  By  and  by  he  would  clap  his  hat  on  his  head, 
shake  hands  and  say  briskly : 

""Well,  business  is  business — can't  staywith  you  always!" — 
and  was  off  in  a  second. 

The  idea  of  pining  for  a  dun  I    And  yet  I  used  to  long  for 

430  A   FRIEND    IN    MISERY. 

him  to  come,  and  would  get  as  uneasy  as  any  mother  if  the  day 
went  by  without  his  visit,  when  I  was  expecting  him.  But  he 
never  collected  that  bill,  at  last  nor  any  part  of  it.  I  lived  to 
pay  it  to  the  banker  myself. 

Misery  loves  company.  Now  and  then  at  night,  in  out-of-the 
way,  dimly  lighted  places,  I  found  myself  happening  on  another 
child  of  misfortune.  He  looked  so  seedy  and  forlorn,  so  home- 
less and  friendless  and  forsaken,  that  I  yearned  toward  him  as 
a  brother.  I  wanted  to  claim  kinship  with  him  and  go  about 
and  enjoy  our  wretchedness  together.  The  drawing  toward 
each  other  must  have  been  mutual ;  at  any  rate  we  got  to  fall- 
ing together  oftener,  though  still  seemingly  by  accident ;  and 
although  we  did  not  speak  or  evince  any  recognition,  I  think 
the  dull  anxiety  passed  out  of  both  of  us  when  we  saw  each 
other,  and  then  for  several  hours  we  would  idle  along  content- 
edly, wide  apart,  and  glancing  furtively  in  at  home  lights  and 
fireside  gatherings,  out  of  the  night  shadows,  and  very  much 
enjoying  our  dumb  companionship. 

Finally  we  spoke,  and  were  inseparable  after  that.  For  our 
woes  were  identical,  almost.  He  had  been  a  reporter  too,  and 
lost  his  berth,  and  this  was  his  experience,  as  nearly  as  I  can 
recollect  it.  After  losing  his  berth,  heliad  gone  down,  down, 
down,  with  never  a  halt :  from  a  boarding  house  on  Russian 
Hill  to  a  boarding  house  in  Kearney  street;  from  thence  to 
Dupont;  from  thence  to  a  low  sailor  den ;  and  from  thence  to  lodg- 
ings in  goods  boxes  and  empty  hogsheads  near  the  wharves. 
Then,  for  a  while,  he  had  gained  a  meagre  living  by  sewing  up 
bursted  sacks  of  grain  on  the  piers ;  when  that  failed  he  had 
found  food  here  and' there  as  chance  threw  it  in  his  way.  He 
had  ceased  to  show  his  face  in  daylight,  now,  for  a  reporter 
knows  everybody,  ricli  and  poor,  high  and  low,  and  cannot  well 
avoid  familiar  faces  in  the  broad  light  of  day. 

This  mendicant  Blucher — I  call  him  that  for  convenience — 
was  a  splendid  creature.  He  was  full  of  hope,  pluck  and  phi- 
losophy ;  he  was  well  read  and  a  man  of  cultivated  taste ;  he 
had  a  briglit  wit  and  was  a  master  of  satire ;  his  kindliness  and 
his  generous  spirit  made  him  royal  in  my  eyes  and  changed  his 
curb-stone  seat  to  a  throne  and  his  damaged  hat  to  a  crown. 

A    STREAK    OF    LUCK. 


.He  had  an  adventure,  once,  wliich.  sticks  fast  in  my  memory 
as  the  most  pleasantly  grotesque  that  ever  touched  ray  sympa- 
thies. He  had  been  without  a  penny  for  two  months.  He 
had  shirked  about  obscure  streets,  among  friendly  dim  lights, 
till  the  thing  had  become  second  nature  to  him.  But  at  last 
he  was  driven  abroad  in  daylight.  The  cause  was  sufBcient ; 
he  had  not  tasted  food  for  forty-eight  hours,  and  he  could  not 
endure  the  misery  of  his  hunger  in  idle  biding.  He  came  along 
a  back  street,  glowering  at  the  loaves  in  bake-shop  windows,  and 
feeling  that  hie  could  trade  his  life  away  for  a  morsel  to  eat. 
The  sight  ol  the  bread  doubled  his  hunger ;  but  it  was  good 
to  look  at  it,  any  how,  and  imagine  what  one  might  do  if 
one  only  had  it.  Presently,  in  the  middle  of  the  street  he 
saw  a  shining  spot — looked 
again — did  not,  and  could  not, 
believe  his  eyes — turned  away, 
to  try  them,  then  looked  again. 
It  was  a  verity — -no  vain,  hun- 
ger-inspired delusion — it  was  a 
silver  dime !  He  snatched  it- 
gloated  over  it ;  doubted  it — ^bit 
it — ^found  it  genuine — choked 
his  heart  down,  and  smothered 
a  halleluiah.  Then  he  looked 
around — saw  that  nobody  was 
looking  at  him — threw  the  dime 
down  where  it  was  before — 
walked  away  a  few  steps,  and 
approached  again,  pretending  he 
did  not  know  it  was  there,  so  that  ^  pkizb. 

he  could  re-enjoy  the  luxury  of  finding  it.  He  walked  around,  it, 
viewing  it  from  different  points ;  then  sauntered  about  with  his 
hands  in  his  pockets,  looking  up  at  the  signs  and  now  and  then 
glancing  at  it  and  feeling  the  old  thrill  again.  Finally  he  took 
it  up,  and  went  away,  fondling  it  in  his  pocket.  He  idled 
through  unfrequented  streets,  stopping  in  doorways  and  corners 
to'take  it  out  and  look  at  it.    By  and  by  he  went  home  to  his 




lodgings — an  empty  queensware  hogshead,— and  employed  him- 
self till  night  trying  to  make  up  his  mind  what  to  buy  with  it. 
But  it  was  hard  to  do.  To  get  the  most  for  it  was  the  idea. 
He  knew  that  at  the  Miner's  Restaurant  he  could  get  a  plate 
of  beans  and  a  piece  of  bread  for  ten  cents ;  or  a  fish-ball  and 
some  few  trifles,  but  they  gave  "no  bread  with  onefish-ball"  there. 
At  French  Pete's  he  could  get  a  veal  cutlet,  plain,  and  some 
radishes  and  bread,  for  ten  cents ;  or  a  cup  of  coffee — a  pint  at 
least — and  a  slice  of  bread ;  but  tlie  slice  was  not  thick  enough 
by  the  eighth  of  an  inch,  and  sometimes  they  were  still  more 
criminal  than  that  in  the  cutting  of  it.  At  seven  o'clock  his 
hunger  was  wolfish ;  and  still  his  mind  was  hot  made  up.  He 
tui-ned  out  and  went  up  Merchant  street,  still  ciphering ;  and 
chewing  a  bit  of  stick,  as  is  the  way  of  starving  men.  He 
passed  before  the  lights  of  Martin's  restaurant,  the  most  aristo- 
cratic in  the  city,  and  stopped. 
It  was  a  place  where  he  had  of- 
ten dined,  in  better  days,  and 
Martin  knew  him  well.  Stand- 
ing aside,  just  out  of  the  range 
of  the  light,  he  worshiped  the 
quails  and  steaks  in  the  show 
window-,  and  imagined  that 
may  be  the  fairy  times  were  not 
gone  yet  and  some  prince  in 
disguise  would  come  along  pres- 
ently and  teU  him  to  go  in  there 
and  take  whatever  he  wanted. 
He  chewed  his  stick  with  a  hun- 
gry interest  as  he  warmed  to 
his  subject.  Just  at  this  junc- 
ture he  was  conscious  of  some 
A  LOOK  IN  AT  THE  WINDOW.  ouc  at  his  sidc,  sure  enough ; 

and  then  a  finger  touched  his  arm.  He  looked  up,  over  his 
shoulder,  and  saw  an  apparition — a  very  allegory  of  Hunger ! 
It  was  a  man  six  feet  high,  gaunt,  unshaven,  hung  with  rags ; 
with  a  haggard  face  and  sunken  cheeks,  and  eyes  that  pleaded 
piteously.    This  phantom  said : 



'■'  "  Come  with  me — ^please." 

He  locked  his  arm  in  Blucher's  and  walked  up  the  street  to 
where  the  passengers  were  few  and  the  light  not  strong,  and 
then  facing  ahout,  put  out  his  hands  in  a  beseeching  M'ay,  and 

"  Friend — stranger — look  at  me !  Life  is  easy  to  you — you  go 
about,  placid  and  content,  as  I  did  once,  in  my  daj' — you  have 
been  in  there,  and  eaten  your  sumptuous  supper,  and  picked 
your  teeth,  and  hummed  your  tune,  and  thought  your  pleasant 

so  II  STBANaEB. 

thoughts,  and  said  to  yourself  it  is  agood  world-but  you've  never 
suffered !  Tou  don't  know  what  trouble  is— you  don't  know 
what  misery  is— nor  hunger !  Look  at  me !  Stranger  have 
pity  on  a  poor  friendless,  homeless  dog !   As  God  is  my  judge, 



I  have  not  tasted  food  for  eight  and  forty  hours ! — look  in  my 
eyes  and  see  if  I  lie !  Give  me  the  least  trifle  in  the  world  to 
keep  me  from  starving — anything — twenty -five  cents !  Do  it, 
stranger — do  it,  please.  It  will  be  nothing  to  you,  but  life  to 
me.  Do  it,  and  I  will  go  down  on  my  knees  and  lick  the  dust 
before  you !  I  will  kiss  your  footprints — I  will  worship  the 
very  ground  you  walk  on !  Only  twenty-five  cents !  I  am 
famishing^Derishing — starving  by  inches !  For  God's  sake 
don't  desert  me ! " 

Blucher  was  bewildered — and  touched,  too — stirred  to  the 
depths.  He  reflected.  Thought  again.  Then  an  idea  struck 
him,  and  he  said : 

"  Come  with  me." 

He  took  the  outcast's  arm,  walked  him  down  to  Martin's 
restaurant,  seated  him  at  a  marble  table,  placed  the  bill  of  fare 
before  him,  and  said : 

"  Order  what  you  want,  friend.  Charge  it  to  me,  Mr.  Mar- 

"  All  right,  Mr.  Blucher,"  said  Martin. 

Then  Blucher  stepped  back  and  leaned  against  the  coimter 
and  watched  the  man  stow  away  cargo  after  cargo  of  buckwheat 
cakes  at  seventy-five  cents  a  plate ;  cup  after  cup  of  coffee,  and 
porter  house  steakg  worth  two  dollars  apiece ;  and  when  six 
dollars  and  a  half  s  worth  of  destruction  had  been  accomplished, 
and  the  stranger's  hunger  appeased,  Blucher  went  down  to 
French  Pete's,  bought  a  veal  cutlet  plain,  a  slice  of  bread,  and 
three  radishes,  with  his  dime,  and  set  to  and  feasted  like  a 
king ! 

Take  the  episode  all  around,  it  was  as  odd  as  any  that  can 
be  culled  from  the  myriad  curiosities  of  Californian  life, 


BY  and  by,  an  old  friend  of  mine,  a  miner,  came  down  from 
one  of  tlie  decayed  mining  camps  of  Tuolumne,  Califor- 
nia, and  I  went  back  with  him.  We  lived  in  a  small  cabin  on 
a  Yerdant  hillside,  and  there  were  not  five  other  cabins  in  view 
over  the  wide  expanse  of  hill  and  forest.  Yet  a  flourishing 
city  of  two  or  three  thousand  population  had  occupied  this 
grassy  dead  solitude  during  the  flush  times  of  twelve  or  fifteen 
years  before,  and  where  our  cabin  stood  had  once  been  the 
hpart  of  the  teeming  hive,  the  centre  of  the  city.  When  the 
.  mines  gave  out  the  town  fell  into  decay,  and  in  a  few  years 
wholly  disappeared — streets,  dwellings,  shops,  everything — and 
left  no  sign.  The  grassy  slopes  were  as  green  and  smooth  and 
desolate  of  life  as  if  they  had  never  been  disturbed.  The  mere 
ixandful  of  miners  still  remaining,  had  seen  the  town  spring  up, 
spread,  grow  and  flourish  in  its  pride ;  and  they  had  seen  it 
sicken  and  die,  and  pass  away  like  a  dream.  With  it  their 
hopes  had  died,  and  their  zest  of  life.  They  had  long  ago 
resigned  themselves  to  their  exile,  and  ceased  to  correspond 
with  their  distant  friends  or  turn  longing  eyes  toward  their 
early  homes.  They  had  accepted  banishment,  forgotten  the 
world  and  been  forgotten  of  the  world.  They  were  far  from 
telegraphs  and  railroads,  and  they  stood,  as  it  were,  in  a  living 
grave,  dead  to  the  events  that  stirred  the  globe's  great  popula- 
tions, dead  to  the  common  interests  of  men,  isolated  and  out- 
cast from  brotherhood  with  their  kind.  It  was  the  most  singu- 
lar, and  almost  the  most  touching  and  melancholy  exile  that 
fancy  can  imagine. — One  of  my  associates  in  this  locality,  for 



two  or  three  months,  was  a  man  who  had  had  a  university  edu- 
cation ;  hut  now  for  eighteen  years  he  had  decayed  there  by 
inches,  a  bearded,  rough-clad,  clay-stained  miner,  and  at  times, 

among  his  sighings  and  solilo- 
quizings,  he  uncojisciously  in- 
terjected vaguely  remembered 
Latin  and  Greek  sentences — 
dead  and  musty  tongues,  meet 
vehicles  for  the  thoughts  of  one 
whose  dreams  were  all  of  the 
past,  whose  life  was  a  failure ; 
a  tired  man,  burdened  with  the 
present,  and  indifferent  to  the 
future;  a  man  without  ties, 
hopes,  interests,  waiting  for 
Test  and  the  end. 

In  that  one  little  comer  of 
California  is  found  a  species  of 
mining  which  is  seldom  or  nev- 
er mentioned  in  print.    It  is 
THE  OLD  COLLEGIATE.  callcd  " pocket  mining"  and  I 

am  not  aware  that  any  of  it  is  done  outside  of  that  little  corner. 
The  gold  is  not  evenly  distributed,  through  the  surface  dirt,  as 
in  ordinary  placer  mines,  but  is  collected  in  little  spots,  and 
they  are  very  wide  apart  and  exceedingly  hard  to  find,  but  when 
you  do  find'  one  you  reap  a  rich  and  sudden  harvest.  There 
are  not  now  more  than  twenty  pocket  miners  in  that  entire  ht- 
tle  region.  I  think  I  know  every  one  of  them  personally.  I 
have  known  one  of  them  to  hunt  patiently  about  the  hill-sides 
every  day  for  eight  months  without  finding  gold  enough  to 
make  a  snuff-box — ^his  grocery  bill  running  up  relentlessly  all 
the  time  —  and  then  find  a  pocket  and  take  out  of  it  two 
thousand  dollars  in  two  dips  of  l>is  shovel.  I  have  known  him 
to  take  out  three  thousand  dollars  in  two  hours,  and  go  and 
pay  up  every  cent  of  his  indebtedness,  then  enter  on  a  dazzling 
spree  that  finished  the  last  of  his  treasure  before  the  night  was 
gone.  And  the  next  day  he  bought  his  groceries  on  credit  as 
usual,  and  shouldered  his  pan  and  shovel  and  went  off  to  the 



hills  hunting  pockets  again  happy  and  content.  This  is  the 
most  fascinating  of  all  the  diflferent  kinds  of  mining,  and  furnishes 
a  very  handsome  percentage  of  victims  to  the  lunatic  asylum. 
Pocket  hunting  is  an  ingenious  process.  You  take  a  spade- 
ful of  earth  from  the  hill-side  and  put  it  in  a  large  tin  pan  and 
dissolve  and  wash  it  gradually  away  till  nothing  is  left  but  a 
teaspoonful  of  fine  sediment.  Whatever  gold  was  in  that  earth 
has  remained,  because,  being  the  heaviest,  it  has  sought  the 
bottom.  Among  the  sediment  you  will  find  half  a  dozen  yellow 
particles  no  larger  than  pin-heads.  You  are  delighted.  You 
move  ofi'  to  one  side  and  wash  another  pan.  If  you  find  gold 
again,  you  move  to  one  side  further,  and  wash  a  third  pan.  If 
you  find  no  gold  this  time,  you 
are  delighted  again,  because  you 
know  you  are  on  the  right  scent. 
You  lay  an  imaginary  plan, 
shaped  like  a  fan,  with  its  han- 
dle up  the  hill— for  just  where 
the  end  of  the  handle  is,  you 
argue  that  the  rich  deposit  lies 
hidden,  whose  vagrant  grains  of 
gold  have  escaped  and  been 
washed  down  the  hill,  spread- 
ing farther  and  ■  farther  apart 
as  they  wandered.  And  &o  you 
proceed  up  the  hill,  washing 
the  earth  and  narrowing  your 
lines  every  time  the  absence  of 
gold  in  t^e  pan  shows  that  you 
are  outside  the  spread  of  the  fan ; 
and  at  last,  twenty  yards  up  the  hill  your  lines  have  converged 
to  a  point — a  single  foot  from  that  point  you  cannot  find  any 
gold.  Your  breath  comes  short  and  quick,  you  are  feverish 
with  excitement ;  the  dinner-bell  may  ring  its  clapper  off,  you 
pay  no  attention ;  friends  may  die,  weddings  transpire,  houses 
burn  down,  they  are  nothing  to  you ;  you  sweat  and  dig  and 
delve  with  a  frantic  interest — and  all  at  once  you  strike  it ! 
Up  comes  a  spadeful  of  earth  and  quartz  that  is  all  lovely  with 


438  FKEAKS    OF    FOKTUNE. 

soiled  lumps  and  leaves  and  sprays  of  gold.  Sometimes  that 
one  spadeful  13  all — $500.  Sometimes  the  nest  contains  $10,000, 
and  it  takes  you  three  or  four  days  to  get  it  all  out.  The  pock- 
et-miners tell  of  one  nest  that  yielded  $60,000  and  two  men 
exhausted  it  in  two  weeks,  and  then  sold  the  ground  for  $10,- 
000  to  a  party  who  never  got  $300  out  of  it  afterward. 

The  hogs  are  good  pocket  hunters.  All  the  summer  they 
root  around  the  bushes,  and  turn  up  a  thousand  little  piles  of 
dirt,  and  then  the  miners  long  for  the  rains ;  for  the  rains  heat 
upon  these  little  piles  and  wash  them  down  and  expose  the  gold, 
possibly  right  over  a  pocket.  Two  pockets  were  found  in 
this  way  by  the  same  man  in  one  day.  One  had  $5,000  in  it 
and  the  other  $8,000.  That  man  could  appreciate  it,  for  he 
hadn't  had  a  cent  for  about  a  year. 

In  Tuolumne  lived  two  miners  who  nsed  to  go  to  the 
neighboring  village  in  the  afternoon  and  return  every  night 
with  household  supplies.  Part  of  the  distance  they  traversed 
a  trail,  and  nearly  always  sat  down  to  rest  on  a  great  boulder 
that  lay  beside  the  path.  In  the  course  of  thirteen  years  they 
had  worn  that  boulder  tolerably  smooth,  sitting  on  it.  By  and 
by  two  vagrant  Mexicans  came  along  and  occupied  the  seat. 
They  began  1x)  amuse  themselves  by  chipping  off  flakes  from 
the  boulder  with  a  sledge-hammer.  They  examined  one  of 
these  flakes  and  found  it  rich  with  gold.  That  boulder  paid 
them  $800  afterward.  But  the  aggravating  circumstance  was 
that  these  "Greasers"  knew  that  there  must  be  more  gold 
where  that  boulder  came  from,  and  so  they  went  panning  up 
the  hill  and  found  what  was  probably  the  richest  pocket  that 
region  has  yet  produced.  It  took  three  months  to  exhaust  it, 
and  it  yielded  $120,000.  The  two  American  miners  who  used 
to  sit  on  the  boulder  are  poor  yet,  and  they  take  turn  about  in 
getting  up  early  in  the  morning  to  curse  those  Mexicans — and 
when  it  comes  down  to  pure  ornamental  cursing,  the  native 
American  is  gifted  above  the  sons  of  men. 

I  have  dwelt  at  some  length  upon  this  matter  of  pocket  min- 
ing because  it  is  a  subject  that  is  seldom  referred  to  in  print, 
and  therefore  I  judged  that  it  would  have  for  the  reader  that 
interest  which  naturally  attaches  to  novelty. 


ONE  of  my  comrades  there — another  of  those  victims  of 
eighteen  years  of  unrequited  toil  and  blighted  hopes — was 
one  of  the  gentlest  spirits  that  ever  bore  its  patient  cross  in  a 
weary  exile :  grave  and  simple  Dick  Baker,  pocket-miner  of 
Dead-Hotise  Gulch. — He  was  forty-sis,  gray  as  a  rat,  earnest, 
thoughtful,  slenderly  educated,  slouchily  dressed  and  clay-soiled, 
but  his  heart  was  finer  metal  than  atiy  gold  his  shovel  ever 
brought  to  light — than  any,  indeed,  that  ever  was  mined  or 

Whenever  -he  was  out  of  luck  and  a  little  down-hearted,  he 
would  fall  to  mourning  over  the  loss  of  a  wonderful  cat  he  used 
to  own  (for  where  women  and  children  are  not,  men  of  kindly 
impulses  take  up  with  pets,  for  they  must  love  something). 
And  he  always  spoke  of  the  strange  sagacity  of  that  cat  with 
the  air  of  a  man  who  believed  in  his  secret  heart  that  there  was 
something  human  about  it — may  be  even  supernatural. 
I  heard  him  talking  about  this  animal  once.  He  said : 
"  Gentlemen,  I  used  to  have  a  cat  here,  by  the  name  of  Tom 
Quartz,  which  you'd  a  took  an  interest  in  I  reckon — most  any 
body  would.  I  had  him  here  eight  year — and  he  was  the  re- 
markablest  cat  I  ever  see.  He  was  a  large  gray  one  of  the 
Tom  specie,  an'  he  had  more  hard,  natchral  sense  than  any 
man  in  this  camp — 'n'  &  power  of  dignity — he  wouldn't  let  the 
Gov'ner  of  Oalifomy  be  familiar  with  him.  He  never  ketched 
a  rat  in  his  life — 'peared  to  be  above  it.  He  never  cared  for 
nothing  but  mining.     He  knowed  more  about  mining,  that 

440  THE    MINER'S    PET. 

cat  did,  than  any  man  /ever,  ever  see.  Tou  couldn't  tell  Awra 
noth'n',  'bout  placer  diggin's — 'n'  as  for  pocket  mining,  why 
he  was  just  bom  for  it.    He  would  dig  out  after  me  an'  Jim 

when  we  went  over  the  hills  pros- 
pect'n',  and  he  would  trot  along 
behind  us  for  as  much  as  five  mile, 
if  we  went  so  fur.  An'  he  had  the 
best  judgment  about  mining 
ground — ^why  you  never  see  any- 
thing like  it.  When  we  went  to 
work,  he'd  scatter  a  glance  around, 
'n'  if  he  didn't  think  much  of  the 
indications,  he  would  give  a  look 
as  much  as  to  say,  '  Well,  I'll  have 
TOM  QUABTz.  ^^  ^^^  ^^^  ^^  excusc  TO^,'  'u'  wlth- 

out  another  word  he'd  hyste  his  nose  into  the  air  'n'  shove  for 
home.  But  if  the  ground  suited  him,  he  would  lay  low  'n' 
•keep  dark  till  the  first  pan  was  washed,  'n'  then  he  would  sidle 
up  'n'  take  a  look,  an'  if  there  was  about  six  or  seven  grains  of 
gold  he  was  satisfied — he  didn't  want  no  better  prospect  'n' 
that — 'n'  then  he  would  lay  down  on  our  coats  and  snore  like 
a  steamboat  till  we'd  struck  the  pocket,  an'  then  get  up  'n' 
superintend.     He  was  nearly  lightnin'  on  superintending. 

"Well,  bye  an'  bye,  up  comes  this  yer  quartz  excitement. 
Every  body  was  into  it — every  body  was  pick'n'  'n'  blast'n' 
instead  of  shovelin'  dirt  on  the  hill  side — every  body  was  put'n' 
down  a  shaft  instead  of  scrapin'  the  surface.  Noth'n'  would 
do  Jim,  but  we  must  tackle  the  ledges,  too,  'n'  so  we  did.  We 
commenced  put'n'  down  a  shaft,  'n'  Tom  Quartz  he  begin  to 
wonder  what  in  the  Dickens  it  was  all  about.  He  hadn't  ever 
seen  any  mining  like  that  before,  'n'  he  was  all  upset,  as  you 
may  say — he  couldn't  come  to  a  right  understanding  of  it  no 
way — it  was  too  many  for  Jiim.  He  was  down  on  it,  too,  you 
bet  you — he  was  down  on  it  powerful — 'n'  always  appeared  to 
consider  it  the  cussedest  foolishness  out.  But  that  cat,  you 
knowj  was  always  agin  new  fangled  arrangements — somehow 
ho  never  could  abide  'em.     You  know  how  it  is  with  old  habits. 



But  by  an'  by  Tom  Quartz  begin  to  git  sort  of  reconciled  a 
little,  though  he  never  ayuld  altogether  understand  that  eternal 
sinkin'  of  a  shaft  an'  never  pannin'  out  any  thing.  At  last  he 
got  to  comin'  down  in  the  shaft,  hisself,  to  try  to  cipher  it  out. 
An'  when  he'd  git  the  blues,  'n'  feel  kind  o'  scruflFy,  'n'  aggra- 
vated 'n'  disgusted— ^knowin'  as  he  did,  that  the  bills  was  run- 
nin'  up  all  the  time  an'  we  wam't  makin'  a  cent — he  would 
curl  up  on  a  gunny  sack  in  the  corner  an'  go  to  sleep.  Well, 
one  day  when  the  shaft  was  down  about  eight  foot,  the  rock 
got  so  hard  that  we  had  to  put  in  a  blast — the  first  blast'n' 
we'd  ever  done  since  Tom  Quartz  was  born.  An'  then  we  lit 
the  fuse  'n'  dumb  out  'n'  got  off  'bout  fifty  yards— 'n'  forgot 
"n'  left  Tom  Quartz  sound  asleep  on  the  gunny  sack.  In  'bout 
a  minute  we  seen  a  puff  of  smoke  bust  up  out  of  the  hole,  'n' 
then  everything  let  go  with  an  awful  crash,  'n'  about  four 

million  ton  of  rocks  'n'  dirt  'n' 

smoke  'n'   splinters   shot  up 

'bout  a  mile  an'  a  half  into  the 

air,  an'  by  George,  right  in  the  dead  centre  of  it  was  old  Tom 

Quartz  a  goin'  end  over  end,  an'  a  snortin'  an'  a  sneez'n',  an' 

a  clawin'  an'  a  reachin'  for  things  like  all  possessed.    But  it 

wam't  no  use,  you  know,  it  warn't  no  use.    An'  that  was  the 




last  we  see  of  Mm  for  about  two  minutes  'n'  a  half,  an'  then  all 
of  a  sudden  it  begin  to  rain  rocks  and  rubbage,  an'  directly  he 
come  down  ker-whop  about  ten  foot  off  f  m  where  we  stood 
Well,  I  reckon  he  was  p'raps  the  omeriest  lookin'  beast  you 
ever  see.  One  ear  was  sot  back  on  his  neck,  'n'  his  tail  was 
stove  up,  'n'  his  eye-winkers  was  swinged  off,  'n'  he  was  all 

blacked  up  with  powder  an' 
smoke,  an'  all  sloppy  with  mud 
'n'  slush  f  m  one  end  to  the 
other.  Well  sir,  it  wam't  no 
use  to  try  to  apologize — ^we 
couldn't  say  a  word.  He  took 
a  sort  of  a  disgusted  look  at  his- 
self,  'n'  then  he  looked  at  us — 
an'  it  was  just  exactly  the  same  as  if  he  had  said — '  Gents, 
may  be  you  think  it's  smart  to  take  advantage  of  a  cat  that 
'ain't  had  no  experience  of  quartz  minin',  but  /think  different ' 
— an'  then  he  turned  on  his.  heel  'n'  marched  off  home  without 
ever  saying  another  word. 

"  That  was  jest  his  style.  An'  may  be  you  won't  believe 
it,  but  after  that  you  never  see  a  cat  so  prejudiced  agin  quartz 
mining  as  what  he  was.  An'  by  an'  bye  when  he  did  get  to 
goin'  down  in  the  shaft  agin,  you'd  'a  been  astonished  at  his 
sagacity.  The  minute  we'd  tetch  off  a  blast  'n'  the  fuse'd  begin 
to  sizzle,  he'd  give  a  look  as  much  as  to  say :  '  Well,  I'll  have 
to  git  you  to  excuse  me,'  an'  it  was  sui-pris'n'  the  way  he'd  shin 
out  of  that  hole  'n'  go  f  r  a  tree.  Sagacity  ?  It  ain't  no  name 
for  it.     'Twas  inspiration !" 

I  said,  "  Well,  Mr.  Baker,  his  prejudice  against  quartz-min- 
ing was  remarkable,  considering  how  he  came  by  it.  Couldn't 
you  ever  cure  him  of  it  ?" 

"  Cure  him  !  No !  When  Tom  Quartz  was  sot  once,  he  was 
ahoays  sot — and  you  might  a  blowed  him  up  as  much  as  three 
million  times  'n'  you'd  never  a  broken  him  of  his  cussed  prej- 
udice agin  quartz  mining." 

The  affection  and  the  pride  that  lit  up  Baker's  face  when  he 
delivered  this  tribute  to  the  firmness  of  his  humble  friend  of ' 
other  days,  will  always  be  a  vivid  memory  with  me. 

EMPTY    POCKETS    AND    A    ROVING    LIFE.         443 

At  the  end  of  two  montlis  we  had  never  "  struck  "  a  pocket. 
We  had  panned  up  and  down  the  hillsides  till  they  looked 
plowed  like  a  field ;  we  could  have  put  in  a  crop  of  grain,  then, 
but  there  would  have  been  no  way  to  get  it  to  market.  "We 
got  many  good  "  prospects,"  but  when  the  gold  gave  out  in 
the  pan  and  we  dug  down,  hoping  and  longing,  we  found  only 
emptiness — ^the  pocket  that  should  have  been  there  was  as  bar- 
ren as  our  own. — At  last  we  shouldered  our  pans  and  shovels 
and  struck  out  over  the  hills  to  try  new  localities.  "We  pros- 
pected around  Angel's  Camp,  in  Calaveras  county,  during  three 
weeks,  but  had  no  success.  Then  we  wandered  on  foot  among 
the  mountains,  sleeping  under  the  trees  at  night,  for  the  weather 
was  mild,  but  still  we  remained  as  centless  as  the  last  rose  of 
summer.  That  is  a  poor  joke,  but  it  is  in  pathetic  harmony 
with  the  circumstances,  since  we  were  so  poor  ourselves.  In 
accordance  with  the  custom  of  the  country,  our  door  had  always 
stood  open  and  our  board  welcome  to  tramping  miners — they 
drifted  along  nearly  every  day,  dumped  their  paust  shovels 
by  the  threshold  and  took  "  pot  luck  "  with  us — and  now  on 
our  own  tramp  we  never  found  cold  hospitality. 

Our  wanderings  were  wide  and  in  many  directions ;  and  now 
I  could  give  the  reader  a  vivid  description  of  the  Big  Trees 
and  the  marvels  of  the  Yo  Semite — but  what  has  this  reader 
done  to  me  that  I  should  persecute  him  ?  I  will  deliver  him 
into  the  hands  of  less  conscientious  tourists  and  take  his  bless- 
ing.    Let  me  be  charitable,  though  I  fail  in  all  virtues  else. 

Some  of  the  phrases  in  the  above  are  mining  technicalities,  purely,  and  may  be 
a  little  obscure  to  the  general  reader.  In  "placer  diggings  "  the  gold  is  scattered 
all  through  the  surface  dirt;  in  "pocket"  diggings  it  is  concentrated  in  one  little 
spot  •  in  "  quartz  "  the  gold  is  in  a  solid,  continuous  Tein  of  rock,  enclosed  beti? een 
distinct  waUs  of  some  other  kind  of  stone— and  this  is  the  most  laborious  and 
expensive  of  all  the  different  kinds  of  mining.  "Frospecting  "  is  hunting  for  a 
"placer;  "indicatiom'  Sire  sjgns  of  its  presence;  "panning  o«<"  refers  to  the 
washing  process  by  which  the  grains  of  gold  are  separated  from  the  dirt ;  a  "pros- 
pect" is  what  one  finds  in  the  first  panful  of  dirt— and  its  value  determines  whether 
it  is  a  good  or  a  bad  prospect,  and  whether  it  is  worth  Tfhile  to  tarry  there  or  geek 
further. , 


AFTER  a  three  months'  absence,  I  found  myself  in  San 
Francisco  again,  withoTit  a  cent.  When  my  credit  was 
about  exhausted,  (for  I  had  become  too  mean  and  lazy,  now,  to 
work  on  a  morning  paper,  and  there  were  no  vacancies  on  the 
evening  journals,)  I  was  created  San  Francisco  correspond- 
ent of  the  Enterprise,  and  at  the  end  of  five  months  I  was  out 
of  debt,  but  my  interest  in  my  work  was  gone ;  for  my  corres- 
pondence being  a  daily  one,  without  rest  or  respite,  I  got 
unspeakably  tired  of  it.  I  wanted  another- change.  The  vag- 
abond instinct  was  strong  upon  me.  Fortune  favored  and  I 
got'a  new  berth  and  a  delightful  one.  It  was  to  go  down  to 
the  Sandwich  Islands  and  write  some  letters  for  the  Sacramento 
Union,  an  excellent  journal  and  liberal  with  employes. 

We  sailed  in  the  propeller  Ajax,  in  the  middle  of  winter. 
The  almanac  called  it  winter,  distinctly  enough,  but  the  weather 
was  a  compromise  between  spring  and  summer.  Six  days  out 
of  port,  it  became  summer  altogether.  We  had  some  thirty 
passengers ;  among  them  a  cheerful  soul  by  the  name  of  Wil- 
liams, and  three  sea-worn  old  whaleship  captains  going  down 
to  join  their  vessels.  These  latter  played  euchre  in  the  smok- 
ing room  day  and  night,  drank  astonishing  quantities  of  raw 
whisky  without  being  in  the'4east  affected  by  it,  and  were  the 
happiest  people  I  think  I  ever  saw.  And  then  there  was"  the 
old  Admiral — "  a  retired  whaleman.  He  was  a  roaring,  ter- 
rific combination  of  wind  and  lightning  and  thunder,  and  earn- 
est, whole-souled  profanity.    But  nevertheless  he  was  tender- 



hearted  as  a  girl.  He  was  a  raving,  deafening,  devastating 
typhoon,  laying  waste  the  cowering  seas  but  with  an  unvexed 
refuge  in  the  centre  where  aU  comers  were  safe  and  at  rest. 
Nobody  could  know  the  "  Admiral "  without  liking  him ;  and 
in  a  sudden  and  dire  emergency  I  think  no  friend  of  his  would 

know  which  to      ^_ 

c  h  0  0  s  e — t  o  be 
cursed  by  him  or 
prayed  for  by  a  less 
efficient  person. 

His  title  of  "Ad- 
miral" was  more 
strictly  "  official " 
than  any  ever  worn 
by  a  naval  officer 
before  or  since,,  per- 
haps— ^forit  was  the 
voluntary  offering 
of  a  whole  nation, 
and  came  direct 
from  the  people 
themselves  with- 
out any  intermedi- 
ate red  tape — the 
people  of  the  Sand- 
wich Islands.  It 
was  a  title    that  the  thbeb  captaiks. 

came  to  him  freighted  with  affection,  and  honor,  and  apprecia- 
tion of  his  unpretending  merit.  And  in  testimony  of  the  gen- 
uineness of  the  title  it  was  publicly  ordained  that  an  exclusive 
flag  should  be  devised  for  him  and  used  solely  to  welome  his 
coming  and  wave  him  God-speed  in  his  going.  From  that 
time  forth,  whenever  his  ship  was  signaled  in  the  offing,  or  he 
catted  his  anchor  and  stood  out  to  sea,  that  ensign  streamed 
from  the  royal  halliards  on  the  parliament  house  and  the  nation 
lifted  their  hats  to  it  with  spontaneous  accord. 

Yet  he  had  never  fired  a  gun  or  fought  a  battle  in  his  Ufe. 


When  I  knew  him  on  board  the  Ajax,  he  was  seventy-two 
years  old  and  had  plowed  the  salt  water  sixty-one  of  them. 
For  sixteen  years  he  had  gone  in  and  out  of  the  harbor  of 
Honolulu  in  command  of  a  whaleship,  and  for  sixteen  more 
had  been  captain  of  a  San  Francisco  and  Sandwich  Island  pas- 
senger packet  and  had  never  had  an  accident  or  lost  a  vessel. 
The  simple  natives  knew  him  for  a  friend  who  never  failed 
them,  and  regarded  him  as  children  regard  a  father.  It  was  a 
dangerous  thing  to  oppress  them  when  the  roaring  Admiral 
was  around. 

,,Two  years  before  I  knew  the  Admiral,  he  had  retired  from 
the  sea  on  a  competence,  and  had  svrom  a  colossal  nine-jointed 
oath  that  he  would  "  never  go  within  smelling  distance  of  the 
salt  water  again  as  long  as  he  lived."  And  he  had  conscien- 
tiously kept  it.  That  is  to  say,  Jie  considered  he  had  kept  it, 
and  it  would  have  been  more  than  dangerous  to  suggest  to 
him,  even  in  the  gentlest  way,  that  making  eleven  long  sea  voy- 
ages, as  a  passenger,  during  the  two  years  that  had  transpired 
since  he  "  retired,"  was  only  keeping  the  general  spirit  of  it 
and  not  the  strict  letter. 

The  Admiral  knew  only  one  narrow  line  of  conduct  to  pur- 
sue in  any  and  all  cases  where  there  was  a  fight,  and  that  was 
to  shoulder  his  Way  straight  in  -without  an  inquiry  as  to  the 
rights  or  the  merits  of  it,  and  take  the  part  of  the  weaker 
side. — And  this  was  the  reason  why  he  was  always  sure  to  be 
present  at  the  trial  of  any  universally  execrated  criminal  to 
oppress  and  intimidate  the  jury  with  a  vindictive  pantomime 
of  what  he  would  do  to  them  if  he  ever  caught  them  out  of 
the  box.  And  this  was  why  harried  cats  and  outlawed  dogs 
that  knew  him  confidently  took  sanctuary  under  his  chair  in 
time  of  trouble.  In  the  beginning  he  was  the  most  frantic 
and  bloodthirsty  Union  man  that  drew  breath  in  the  shadow 
of  the  Flag ;  but  the  instant  the  Southerners  began  to  go  down 
before  the  ^weep  of  the  Northern  armies,  he  ran  Tip  the  Con- 
federate colors  and  from  that  time  till  the  end  was  a  rampant 
and  inexorable  secessionist. 

He  hated  intemperance  with  a  more  xmcompromising  ani- 

■HIS    DAILY    HABITS.  447 

mosity  than  any  individual  I  have  ever  met,  of  either  sex ;  and 
he  was  never  tired  of  storming  against  it  and  beseeching  friends 
and  strangers  alike  to  be  wary  and  drink  with  moderation. 
And  yet  if  any  creature  had  been  guileless  enough  to  intimate 
that  his  absorbing  nine  gallons  of  "  straight "  whisky  during 
our  voyage  was  any  fraction  short  of  rigid-  or  inflexible  abste- 
miousness, in  that  self-same  moment  the  old  man  would  have 
spun  him  to  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth  in  the  whirlwind 
of  his  wrath.  Mind,  I  am  not  saying  his  whisky  ever  affected 
his  head  or  his  legs,  for  it  did  not,  in  even  the  slightest  degree. 
He  was  a  capacious  container,  bxit  he  did  not  hold  enough  for 
that.  He  took  a  level  tumblerful  of  whisky  every  morning  before 
he  put  his  clothes  on — "  to  sweeten  his  bilge  water,"  he  said. — 
He  took  another  after  he  got  the  most  of  his  clothes  on,  "  to  set- 
tle his  mind  and  give  him  his  bearings."  He  then  shaved,  and 
put  on  a  clean  shirt ;  after  which  he  recited  the  Lord's  Prayer 

-  in  a  fervent,  thundering  bass  that  shook  the  ship  to  her  kelson 
and  suspended  all  conversation  in  the  main  cabin.  .Then,  at 
this  stage,  being  invariably  "  by  the  head,"  or  "  by  the  stem," 
or  "  listed  to  port  or  starboard,"  he  took  one  more  to  "  put  him 

•  on  an  even  keel  so  that  he  would  mind  his  helium  and  not 
miss  stays  and  go  about,  every  time  he  came  up  in  the  wind." 
— And  now,  his  state-room  door  swung  open  and  the  sun  of 
his  benignant  face  beamed  redly  out  upon  men  and  women  and 
children,  and  he  roared  his  "  Shipmets  a'hoy !"  in  a  way  that 
was  calculated  to  wake  the  dead  and  precipitate  the  final  resur- 
rection ;  and  forth  he  strode,  a  picture  to  look  at  and  a  presence  to 
enforce  attention.  Stalwart  and  portly ;  not  a  gray  hair ;  broad- 
brimmed  slouch  hat ;  semi-sailor  toggery  of  blue  navy  flannel 
— ^roomy  and  ample ;  a  stately  expanse  of  shirt-front  and  a  lib- 
eral amount  of  black  silk  neck-cloth  tied  with  a  sailor  knot ; 
large  chain  and  imposing  seals  impending  from  his  fob ;  awe- 
inspiring  feet,  and  "  a  hand  like  the  hand  of  Providence,"  as 
his  whaling  brethren  expressed  it ;  wrist-bands  and  sleeves 

pushed  back  half  way  to  the  elbow,  out  of  respect  for  the  warm 

weather,  and  exposing  hairy  arms,  gaudy  with  red  and  blue 
anchors,  ships,  and  goddesses  of  liberty  tattooed  in  India  ink. 



But  these  details  were  only  secondary  matters — ^his  face  was 
the  lodestone  that  chained  the  eye.  It  was  a  sultry  disk,  glow- 
ing determinedly  out  through  a  weather  beaten  mask  of  mahog- 
any, and  studded  with  warts,  seamed  with  scars,  "blazed"  all 
over  with  unfailing  fresh  slips  of  the  razor ;  and  with  cheery 
eyes,  under  shaggy  brows,  contemplating  the  world  from  over 
the  back  of  a  gnarled  crag  of  a  nose  that  loomed  vast  and  lonely 
out  of  the  undulating  immensity  that  spread  away  from  its 
foundations.  At  his  heels  frisked  the  darling  of  his  bachelor 
es'tate,  his  terrier  "  Fan,"  a  creature  no  larger  than  a  squirrel. 
The  main  part  of  his  daily  life  was  occupied  in  looking  after 
"Fan,"  in  a  motherly  way,  and  doctoring  her  for  a  hundred 
ailments  which  existed  on- 
ly in  his  imagination. 

The  Admiral  seldom 
read  newspapers ;  and 
when  he  did  he  never  be- 
lieved anything  they  said. 
He  read  nothing,  and  be- 
lieved in  nothing,but"The 
Old  Guard,"  a  secession 
periodical  .published  in 
New  York.  He  carrried 
a  dozen  copies  of  it  with 
him,  always,  and  referred 
to  them  for  all  required 
information.  If  it  was  not 
there,  he  supplied  it  him- 
self, out  of  a  bountiful 
fancy,  inventing  history, 
names,  dates,  and  every 
thing  else  necessary  to 
make  his  point  good  in  an 
argument.  Consequently 
he  was  a  formidable  antagonist  in  a  dispute.  Whenever  he 
swung  clear  of  the  record  and  began  to  create  history,  the  ene- 
my was  helpless  and  had  to  surrender.    Indeed,  the  enemy 




Could  not  keep  from  betraying  some  little  spark  of  indignation 
at  his  manufactured  history — and  when  it  came  to  indignation, 
that  was  the  Admiral's  very  "  best  hold."  He  was  always 
ready  for  a  political  argument,  and  if  nobody  started  one  he 
Would  do  it  himself.  With  his  third  retort  his  temper  would 
begin  to  rise,  and  within  five  minutes  he  would  be  blowing 
a  gale,  and  within  fifteen  his  smoking-room  audience  would 
be  utterly  stormed  away  and  the  old  man  left  solitary  and  alone, 
banging  the  table  with  his  fist,  kicking  the  chairs,  and  roaring 

a  hurricane  of  profanity. 
It  got  so,  after  a  while,  that 
whenever  the  Admiral  ap- 
proached, with  politics  in 
his  eye,  the  passengers 
would  drop  out  with  quiet 
^^^^K^^^^^^j^j^B^^SKS^  accord,  afraid  to  meet  him ; 

and  he  would  camp  on  a 
deserted  field. 

^-^"^'^^PSBSBP  II^^TI^Si^f^^      ^^^^  ^^  found  his  match 

at  last,  and  before  a  full 
company.  At  one  time  or 
another,  everybody  had 
entered  the  lists  against 
him  and  been  routed,  except  the  quiet  passenger  Williams;  He 
had  never  been  able  to  get  an  expression  of  opinion  out  of  him 
on  politics.  But  now,  just  as  the  Admiral  drew  near  the- door 
and  the  cbmpany  were  about  to  slip  out,  Williams. said : 

"Admiral,  are  you  certain  about  that  circumstance  concern- 
ing the  clergymen  you  men1;joned  the  other  day  ?"-;-referring 
to  a  piece 'of  the  Admiral's  manufactured  history. 

Every  one  was  amazed  at  the  man's  rashness.  The  idea  of 
deliberately  inviting 'annihilation  was  a  thing  incomprehensible. 
The  retreat  came  to  a  halt ;  then  everybody  sat  down  again 
wondering,  to  await  the  upshot  of  it.  The  Admiral  himself 
was  as  surprised  as  any  one.  He  paused  in  the  door,  with  his 
red  handkerchief  half  raised  to  his  sweating  face,  and  contem- 
plated the  daring  reptile  in  the  corner. 




"  Certain  of  it  ?  Am  I  certmn  of  it  ?  Do  you  think  I've  been 
lying  about  it  ?  What  do  you  take  me  for  ?  Anybody  that 
don't  know  that  circumstance,  don't  know  anything ;  a  child 

ought  to  kiiow  it.     Kead  up  your  history !     Eead  it  up 

■ ,  and  don't  come  asking  a  man  if  he's  certain 

about  a  bit  of  A  B  C  stuff  that  the  very  southern  niggers  know 
all  about." 

Here  the  Admiral's  fires  began  to  wax  hot,  the  atmosphere 
thickened,  the  coming  earthquake  rumbled,  he  began  to  thunder 
and  lighten.  Within  three  minutes  his  volcano  was  in  full 
irruption  and  he  was  discharging  flames  and  ashes  of  indignar 
tion,  belching  black  volumes  of  foul  history  aloft,  and  vomiting 
red-hot  torrents  of  profanity  from  his  crater.  Meantime  Wil- 
liams sat  silent,  and  apparently  deeply  and  earnestly  interested 
in  what  the  old  man  was  saying.  By  and  by,  when  the  luU 
came,  he  said  in  the  most  deferential  way,  and  with  the  grati- 
fied air  of  a  man  who  has  had  a  mystery  cleared  up  which  had 
been  puzzling  him  uncomfortably  : 

"  Now  I  understand  it.  I  always  thought  I  knew  that  piece 
of  history  well  enough,  but  was  still  afraid  to  trust  it,  because 
there  was  not  that  convincing  particularity  about  it  that  one 
likes  to  have  in  history  ;  but  when  you  mentioned  every  name, 
the  other  day,  and  every  date,  and  every  little  circumstance, 
in  their  just  order  and  sequence,  I  said  to  myself,  this  sounds 
something  like — this  is  history — this  is  putting  it  in  a  shape 
that  gives  a  man  confidence ;  and  I  said  to  myself  afterward,  I 
will  just  ask  the  Admiral  if  he  is  perfectly  certain  about  the 
details,  and  if  he  is  I  will  come  out  and  thank  him  for  clearing 
this  matter  up  for  me.  And  that  is  what  I  want  to  do  now — 
for  until  you  set  that  matter  right  it  was  nothing  but  just  a 
confusion  in  my  mind,  without  head  or  tail  to  it." 

Nobody  ever  saw  the  Admiral  look  so  mollified  before,  and 
so  pleased.  Nobody  had  ever  received  'his  bogus  history  as 
gospel  before ;  its  genuineness  had  always  been  called  in  ques- 
tion either  by  words  or  looks ;  but  hei'e  was  a  man  that  not  only 
swallowed  it  all  down,  but  was  grateful  for  the  dose.  He  was 
taken  a  back ;  he  hardly  knew  what  to  say ;  even  his  profanity 


failed  him.  'Now,  Williams  continued,  modestly  and  earnestly  : 
"  But  Admiral,  in  saying  tliat  this  was  the  first  stone  thrown, 
and  that  this  precipitated  the  war,  you  have  overlooked  a  cir- 
cumstance which  you  are  perfectly  familiar  with,  btit  which  has 
escaped  your  memory,  l^ow  I  grant  you  that  what  you  have 
stated  is  correct  in  every  detail — to  wit :  that  on  the  16th  of 
October,  1860,  two  Massachusetts  clergymen,  named  Waite 
and  Granger,  went  in  disguise  to  the  house  of  John  Moody,  in 
Eockport,  at  dead  of  night,  and  dragged  forth  two  southern 
women  and  their  two  little  children,  and  after  tarring  and 
feathering  them  conveyed  them  to  Boston  and  burned  them 
alive  in  the  State  House  square ;  and  I  also  grant  your  propo- 
sition, that  this  deed  is  what  led  to  the  secession  of  South  Car- 
olina on  the  20th  of  December  following.  Yery  well."  [Here 
the  company  were  pleasantly  surprised  to  hear  "Williams  proceed 
to  come  back  at  the  Admiral  with  his  own  invincible  weapon 
— clean,  pure,  mcmufaotured  history,  without  a  word  of  truth 
in  it.]  "  Very  well,  I  say.  But  Admiral,  why  overlook  the 
WiUis  and  Morgan  case  in  South  Carolina?  You  are  too  well 
informed  a  man  not  to  know  all  about  that  circumstance.  Your 
argunients  and  your  conversations  have  shown  you  to  be  inti- 
mately conversant  with  every  detail  of  this  national  quarrel. 
You  develop  matters  of  history  every  day  that  show  plainly 
that  you  are  no  smatterer  in  it,  content  to  nibble  about  the 
surface,  but  a  man  who  has  searched  the  depths  and  possessed 
yourself  of  everything  that  has  a  bearing  upon  the  great  ques- 
tion. Therefore,  let  me  just  recall  to  your  mind  that  "Willis 
and  Morgan  case — though  I  see  by  your  face  that  the  whole 
thing  is  already  passing  through  your  memory  at  this  moment. 
On  the  I2th  of  August,  1860,  two  months  before  the  "Waite 
and  Granger  affair,  two  South  Carolina  clergymen,  named  John 
H.  Morgan  and  "Winthrop  L.  "Willis,  one  a  Methodist  and  the 
other  an  Old  School  Baptist,  disguised  themselves,  and  went 
at  midnight  to  the  house  of  a  planter  named  Thompson- 
Archibald  F.  Thompson,  Vice  President  under  Thomas  Jeffer- 
son,—and  took  thence,  at  midnight,  his  widowed  aunt,  (a 
Northern  woman,)  and  her  adopted  child,  an  orphan  named 


Mortimer  Highie,  afflicted  witli  epilepsy  and  suffering  at  the 
time  from  white  swelling  on  one  of  his  legs,  and  compelled  to 
walk  on  crutches  in  consequence  ;  and  the  two  ministers,  in 
spite  of  the  pleadings  of  the  victims,  dragged  them  to  the  bush, 
tarred  and  feathered  them,  and  afterward  burned  them  at  the 
stake  in  the  city  of  Charleston.  You  remember  perfectly  well 
what  a  stir  it  made ;  you ,  remember  perfectly  well  that  even 
the  Charleston  Courier  stigmatized  the  act  as  being  unpleasant, 
of  questionable  propriety,  and  scarcely  justifiable,  and  likewise 
that  it  would  not  be  matter  of  surprise  if  retaliation  ensued. 
And  you  remember  also,  that  this  thing  was  the  cause  of  the 
Massachusetts  outrage.  "Who,  indeed,  were  the  two  Massachu- 
setts ministers  ?  and  who  were  the  two  Southern  women  they 
burned  ?  I  do  not  need  to  remind  you,  Admiral,  with  your 
intimate  knowledge  of  history,  that  "Waite  was  the  nephew  of 
the  woman  burned  in  Charleston ;  that  Granger  was  her  cousin 
in  the  second  degree,  and  that  the  woman  they  burned  in  Bos- 
ton was  the  wife  of  John  H.  Morgan,  and  the  still  loved  but 
divorced  wife  of  "Winthrop  L.  "Willis.  Now,  Admiral,  it  is 
only  fair  that  you  should  acknowledge  that  the  first  provocation 
came  from  the  Soutliern  preachers  and  that  the  Northern  ones 
were  justified  in  retaliating.  In  your  arguments  you  never 
yet  have  shown  the  least  disposition  to  withhold  a  just  verdict 
or  be  in  anywise  unfair,  when  authoritative  history  condemned 
your  position,  and  tlierefore  I  have  no  hesitation  in  asking  you 
to  take  the  original  blame  from  the  Massachusetts  ministers,  in 
this  matter,  and  transfer  it  to  the  South  Carolina  clergymen 
where  it  justly  belongs." 

The  Admiral  was  conquered.  This  sweet  spoken  creature 
who  swallowed  his  fraudulent  history  as  if  it  were  the  bread 
of  life ;  basked  in  his  furious  blasphemy  as  if  it  were  generous 
sunshine  ;  found  only  calm,  even-handed  justice  in  his  rampart 
partisanship ;  and  flooded  him  with  invented  history  so  sugar- 
coated  with  flattery  and  deference  that  there  was  no  rejecting 
it,  was  "  too  many  "  for  him.  He  stammered  some  awkward, 
profane  sentences  about  the "Willis  and 



Morgan  business  having  escaped  his  memory,  but  that  he 
"  remembered  it  now,"  and  then,  under  pretence  of  giving  Fa» 
some  medicine  for  an  imaginary  cough,  drew  out  of  the  battle 
and  went  away,  a  vanquished  man.     Then  cheers  and  laughter 
went  up,  and  Williams,  the  ship's  benefactor  was  a  hero.     The 
news  went  about  the  vessel,  champagne  was  ordered,  an  enthu- 
siastic reception  in- 
stituted in  the  smok- 
ing room,  and  every- 
body flocked  thither 
to  shake  hands  with 
the  conqueror.  The 
wheelsman  said  af- 
terward,   that    the 
Admiral    stood  up 
behind  the    pilot 
house  and  "  ripped 
and    cursed    all  to 
himself"    till    he 
loosened  the  smoke- 
stack guys  and  be- 
calmed the  mainsail. 
The  Admiral's 
power  was  broken.     After  that,  if  he   began  an  argument^ 
somebody  would  bring  Williams,  and  the  old  man  would  grow 
weak  and  begin  to  quiet  down  at  once.     And  as  soon  as  he  was 
done,  Williams  in  his  dulcet,  insinuating  way,  would  invent 
some  history  (referring  for  proof,  to  the  old  man's  own  excel- 
lent memory  and  to  copies  of  "  The  Old  Guard "  known  not 
to  be  in'  his  possession)  that  would  turn  the  tables  completely 
and  leave  the  Admiral  all  abroad  and  helpless.     By  and  by 
he  came  to  so  dread  Williams  and  his  gilded  tongue  that  he 
would  stop  talking  when  he  saw  him  approach,  and  finally 
ceased  to  mention  politics  altogether,  and  from  that  time  for- 
ward there  was  entire  peace  and  serenity  in  the  ship. 



01^  a  certain  bright  morning  the  Islands  hove  insight,  lying 
low  on  the  lonely  sea,  and  everybody  climbed  to  the  upper 
deck  to  look.  After  two  thousand  mile's  of  watery  solitude 
the  vision  was  a  welcome  one.  As  we  approached,  the  impos- 
ing promontory  of  Dianiond  Head  rose  up  out  of  the  ocean 
its  rugged  front  softened  by  the  hazy  distance,  and  presently 
the  details  of  the  land  began  to  make  themselves  manifest : 
first  the  line  of  beach ;  then  the  plumed  coacoanut  trees  of  the 
tropics ;  then  cabins  of  the  natives ;  then  the  white  town  of 
Honolulu,  said  to  contain  between  twelve  and  fifteen  thous- 
and inhabitants  spread  over  a  dead  level ;  with  streets  from 
twenty  to  thirty  feet  wide,  solid  and  level  as  a  floor,  most  of 
them  straight  as  a  line  and  few  as  crooked  as  a  corkscrew. 
The  further  I  traveled  through  the  town  the  better  I  liked 
it.  Every  step  revealed  a  new  contrast — disclosed  something 
I  was  unaccustomed  to.  In  place  of  the  grand  mud-colored 
brown  fronts  of  San  Francisco,  I  saw  dwellings  built  of  straw, 
adobies,  and  cream-colored  pebble-and-sheU-conglomerated  coral, 
'  cut  into  oblong  blocks  and  laid  in  cement ;  also  a  great  number 
of  neat  white  cottages,  with  green  window-shxitters ;  in  place  of 
front  yards  like  billiard-tables  with  iron  fences  around  them,  I 
saw  these  homes  surrounded  by  ample  yards,  thickly  clad 
with  green  grass,  and  shaded  by  taU  trees,  through  whose 
dense  foliage  the  sim  could  scarcely  penetrate;  in  place  of 
the  customary  geranium,  calla  lily,  etc.,  languishing  in  dust 
and  general  debility,  I  saw  luxurious  banks  and  thickets  of 
flowers,  fresh  as  a  meadow  after  a  rain,  and  glowing  with  the 



richest  dyes ;  in  place  of  the  dingy  horrors  of  San  Francisco's 
pleasure  grove,  the  "Willows,"  I  saw  huge-bodied,  wide-spread- 
ing forest 
trees,  with 
names  and 
— trees  that 
cast  ,a  shad- 
ow like  a 
t  hunder- 
cloud,  and 
were  able  to 
stand  alone 
without  be- 
ing tied  to 
green  poles ; 
in  place  of 
go  1  d  fish, 
around  in 
glass  globes, 


degrees  of  distortion  through  the  magnifying  and  diminishing 
qualities  of  their  transparent  prison  houses,  I  saw  cats — Tom- 
cats, Mary  Ann  cats,  long-tailed  cats,  bob-tailed  cats,  blind 
cats,  one-eyed  cats,  wall-eyed  cats,  cross-eyed  cats,  gray  cats, 
black  cats,  white  cats,  yellow  cats,  striped  cats,  spotted  cats, 
tame  cats,  wild  cats,  singed  cats,  individual  cats,  groups  of  cats, 
platoons  of  cats,  companies  of  cats,  regiments  of  cats,  armies 
of  cats,  multitudes  of  cats,  millions  of  cats,  and  all  of  them 
sleek,  fat,  lazy  and  sound  asleep.  , 

I  looked  on  a  multitude  of  people,  some  white,  in  white 
coats,  vests,  pantaloons,  even  white  cloth  shoes,  made  snowy 
with  chalk  duly  laid  on  every  morning ;  but  the  majority  of 



the  people  were  almost  as  dark  as  negroes — ^women  with 
comely  features,  fine  black  eyes,  rounded  forms,  inclining  to  the 

voluptuous,  clad  in  a  single  bright 
red  or  white  garment  that  fell  free 
and  unconfined  from  shoulder  to 
heel,  long  black  hair  falling  loose, 
gypsy  h^ts,  encircled  with  wreaths 
of  natural  flowers  of  a  brilliant  car- 
mine tint ;  plenty  of  dark  men  in 
various  costumes,  and  some  with  noth- 
ing on  but  a  battered  stove-pipe  hat 
I  tilted  on  the  nose,  and  a  very  scant 
breech  -  clout ; — certain  smoke-dried 
^^^^r  children  were  clothed  in  nothing  but 
sunshine— a  very  neat  fitting  and  pic- 
turesque apparel  indeed. 

In  place  of  roughs  and  rowdies 
staring  and  blackguarding  on  the  cor-, 
ners,  I  saw  long-haired,  saddle-col- 
ored Sandwich  Island  maidens  sit- 
ting on  the  ground  in  the  shade  of  corner  houses,  gazing 
indolently  at  whatever  or  whoever  happened  along;  instead 
of  wretched  cobble-stone  pavements,  I  walked  on  a  firm 
foundation  of  coral,  built  up  from  the  bottom  of  the  sea  by  the 
absurd  but  persevering  insect  of  that  name,  with  a  light  layer  of 
lava  and  cinders  overlying  the  coral,  belched  up  out  of  fathom- 
less perdition  long  ago  through  the  seared  and  blackened  crater 
that  stands  dead  and  harmless  in  the  distance  now ;  instead  of 
cramped  and  crowded  street-cars,  I  met  dusky  native  women 
sweeping  by,  free  as  the  wind,  on  fleet  horses  and  astride,  with 


gaudy  riding-sashes, 


like  banners  behind   them; 

instead  of  the  combined  stenches  of  Chinadom  and  Brannau 
street  slaughter-houses,  I  breathed  the  balmy  fragrance  of  jes- 
samine, oleander,  and  the  Pride  of  India ;  in  place  of  the  hurry 
aud  bustle  and  noisy  confusion  of  San  Francisco,  I  moved  ii^ 
the  midst  of  a  Summer  calm  as  tranquil  as  dawn  in  the  Gar- 
den of  Eden  ;  in  place  of  the  Golden  City^s  skirting  sand  hills 
a.nd  the  placid  bay,  I  saw  on  the  one  side  a  frame-work  of  tall,. 


precipitous  mountains  close  at  hand,  clad  in  refreshing  green, 
and  cleft  by  deep,  cool,  chasm-like  valleys — and  in  front  the 
grand  sweep  of  the  ocean :  a  brilliant,  transparent  green  near 
the  shore,  bound  and  bordered  by  a  long  white  line  of  foamy 
spray  dashing  against  the  reef,  and  further  out  the  dead  blue 
water  of  the  deep  sea,  flecked  with  "  white  caps,"  and  in 
the  far  horizon  a  single,  lonely  sail — a  mere^  accent-mark  to 
emphasize  a  slumberous  calm  and  a  solitude  that  were  without 
sound  or  limit.  When  the  sun  sunk  down — the  one  intruder 
frbm  other  realms  and  persistent  in  suggestions  of  them — ^it 
was  tranced  luxury  to  sit  in  the  perfumed  air  and  forget  that 
there  was  any  world  but  these  enchanted  islands. 

It  was  silch  ecstacy  to  dream,  and  dream — till  you  got  a  bite. 
A  scor- 
pion bite. 
Then  the 
first  duty 
was  to  get 
up  out  of 
the  grass 
and  kill 
the  scor- 
pion ;  and 
the  next 
to  bathe 
the  bit- 
ten place  .  '""™- 

with  alcohol  or  brandy ;  and  the  next  to  resolve  to  keep  out 
of  the  grass  in  future.  Then  came  an  adjournment  to  the  bed- 
chamber and  the  pastime  of  writing  up  the  day's  journal  with 
one  hand  and  the  destruction  of  mosquitoes  with  the  other — a 
whole  community  of  them  at  a  slap.  Then,  observing  an 
enemy  approaching, — a  hairy  tarantula  on  stilts — why  not  set 
the  spittoon  on  him  ?  It  is  done,  and  the  projecting  ends  of 
his  paws  give  a  luminous  idea  of  the  magnitude  of  his  reach. 
Then  to  bed  and  become  a  promenade  for  a  centipede  with 
forty-two  legs  on  a  side  and  every  foot  hot  enough  to  bum  a 



hole  through  a  raw-hide.  More  soaking  with  alcohol,  and  a 
resolution  to  examine  the  bed  before  entering  it,  in  future. 
Then  wait,  and  suflfer,  till  aU  the  mosquitoes  in  the  neighbor- 

i>  hood  have 
crawled  in 
under  the 
bar,  then 
slip  out 
shut  them 

in  and. 
on  the 
floor  till 
it  is  com- 


forting  to  curse  the  tropics  in  occasiQnal  wakeful  intervals. 

We  had  an  abundance  of  fruit  in  Honolulu,  of  course. 
Oranges,  pine-apples,  bananas,  strawberries,  lemons,  limes,  man- 
goes, guavas,  melons,  and  a  rare  and  curious  luxury  called  the 
chirimoya,  which  is  deliciousness  itself.  Then  there  is  the 
tamarind.  I  thought  tamarinds  were  made  to  eat,  but  that 
was  probably  not  the  idea.  I  ate  several,  and  it  seemed  to  me 
that  they  were  rather  sour  that  year.     They  pursed  up  my 

lips,  till  they  resembled  the  stem-end 
of  a  tomato,  and  I  had  to  take  my 
sustenance  through  a  quill  for  twenty- 
four  hours.  They  sharpened  my 
teeth  till  I  could  have  shaved  with 
them,  and  gave  them  a  "wire  edge" 
that  I  was  afraid  would  stay;  but 
a  citizen  said  "  no,  it  will  come  off 
when  the  enamel  does" — ^which  was 
I  found,  afterward,,  that  only  stran- 


comforting,  at  any  rate. 

gers  eat  tamarinds — ^but  they  only  eat  them  once. 


1]!^  my  diary  of  our  third  day  in  Honolulu,  I  find  this : 
I  am  probably  the  most  sensitive  man  in  Hawaii  to-night — 
especially  about  sitting  down  in  the  presence  of  my  betters. 
I  have  ridden  fifteen  or  twenty  miles  on  horse-back  since  5  p.m. 
and  to  tell  the  honest  truth,  I  have  a  delicacy  about  .sitting 
down  at  all. 

An  excursion  to  Diamond  Head  and  the  King's  Coacoanut 
Grove  was  planned  to-day — time,  4:30  p.m. — the  party  to  con- 
sist of  half  a  dozen  gentlemen  and  three  ladies.  They  all 
started  at  the  appointed  hour  except  myself.  I  was  at  the 
Government  prison,  (with  Captain  Fish  and  another  whaleship- 
skipper.  Captain  Phillips,)  and  got  so  interested  in  its  examina- 
tion that  I  did  not  notice  how  quickly  the  time  was  passing. 
Somebody  remarked  that  it  was  twenty  minutes  past  five 
o'clock,  and  that  woke  me  up.  It  was  a  fortunate  circumstance 
that  Captain  Phillips  was  along  with  his  "  turn  out,"  as  he  calls 
a  top-buggy  that  Captain  Cook  brought  here  in  1778,  and  a 
horse  that  was  here  when  Captain  Cook  came.  Captain  Phil- 
lips takes  a  just  pride  in  his  driving  and  in  the  speed  of  his 
horse,  and  to  his  passion  for  displaying  them  I  owe  it  that  we 
were  only  sixteen  minutes  coming  from  the  prison  to  the 
American  Hotel — a  distance  which  has  been  estimated  to  be 
over  half-  a  mile.  But  it  took  some  fearful  driving.  The  Cap- 
tain's whip  came  down  fast,  and  the  blows  started  so  much  dust 
out  of  the  horse's  hide  that  during  the  last  half  of  the  journey 
we  rode  through  an  impenetrable  fog,  and  ran  by  a  pocket 
compass  in  the  hands  of  Captain  Fish,  a  whaler  of  twenty-six 
years  experience,  who  sat  there  through  the  perilous  voyage  as 
Self-possessed  as  if  he  had  been  on  the  euchre-deck  of  his  own 

4:60  A    HORSEBACK    BIDE. 

ship,  -and  calmly  said,  "  Port  your  helm — port,"  from  time  to 
time,  and  "  Hold  her  a  little  free — steady — so-o,"  and  "  Luff — 
hard  down  to  starboard !"  and  never  once  lost  his  presence 
of  mind  or  betrayed  the  least  anxiety  by  voice  or  manner. 
When  we  came  to  anchor  at  last,  and  Captain  Phillips  looked 
at  his  watch  and  said,  "  Sixteen  minutes — I  told  you  it  was  in 
her !  that's  over  three  miles  an  hour !"  I  could  see  he  felt 
entitled  to  a  compliment,  and  so  I  said  I  had  never  seen  light- 
ning go  like  that  horse.     And  I  never  had. 

The  landlord  of  the  American  said  the  party  had  been  gone 
nearly  an  hour,  but  that  he  could  give  me  my  choice  of  several 
horses  that  could  overtake  them.  I  said,  never  mind — I  pre- 
ferred a  safe  hors©'  to  a  fast  one- — I  would  like  to  have  an 
excessively  gentle  horse — a  horse  with  no  spirit  whatever — a 
lame  one,  if  he  had  such  a  thing.  Inside  of  five  minutes  I 
was  mounted,  and  perfectly  satisfied  with  my  outfit.  I  had  no 
time  to  label  him  "  This  is  a  horse,"  and  so  if  the  public  took 
him  for  a  sheep  I  cannot  help  it.  I  was  satisfied,  and  that  was 
the  main  thing.  I  could  see  that  he  had  as  many  fine  points 
as  any  man's  horse,  and  so  I  hung  my  hat  on  one  of 
them,  behind  the  saddle,  and  swabbed  the  perspiration  from 
my  face  and  started.  I  named  him  after  this  island,  "  Oahu  " 
(pronounced  0-waw-hee).  The  first  gate  he  came  to  he  started 
in ;  I  had  neither  whip  nor  spur,  and  so  I  simply  argued 
the  case  with  him.  He  resisted  argument,  bnt  ultimately 
yielded  to  insult  and  abuse.  He  backed  out  of  that  gate  and 
steered  for  another  one  on  the  other  side  of  the  street.  I 
triumphed  by  my  former  process.  Within  the  next  six  hun- 
dred yards  he  crossed  the  street  fourteen  times  and  attempted 
thirteen  gates,  and  in  the  meantime  the  tropical  sun  was  beat- 
ing down  and  threatening  to  cave  the  top  of  my  head  in,  and 
I  was  literally  dripping  with  perspiration.  He  abandoned  the 
gate  business  after  that  and  went  along  peaceably  enough,  but 
absorbed  in  meditation.  I  noticed  this  latter  circumstance, 
and  it  soon  began  to  fill  me  with  apprehension.  I  said  to  my- 
self, this  creature  is  planning  some  new  outrage,  some  fresh 
deviltry  or  other — ^no  horse  ever  thought  over  a  subject  so  pro- 
foundly as  this  one  is  doing  just  for  nothing.     The  more  this 



thing  preyed  upon  my  mind  the  more  uneasy  I  became,  until 
the  suspense  became  abnost  unbearable  and  I  dismounted  to 
see  if  there  was  anything  wild  in  his  eye — for  I  had  heard 
that  the  eye  of  this  noblest  of  our  domestic  animals  is  very- 
expressive.    I  cannot  describe  what'  a  load  of  anxiety  was 


lifted  from  my 'mind  when  I  found  that  he  was  only  asleep. 
I  woke  him  up  and  started  him  ^into  a  faster  walk,  and  then 
the  villainy  of  his  nature  came  out  again.  He  tried  to  climb 
over  a  stone  wall,,  five  or  six  feet  high.  I  saw  that  I  must 
apply  force  to  this  horse,  and  that  I  might  as  well  begin  first 
as  last.  I  plucked  a  stout  switch  from  a  tamarind  tree,  and  the' 
moment  he- saw  it,  he  surrendered.  He  broke  into  a  >  convul- 
sive sort  of  a  canter,  which  had  three  short  steps  in  it  and  one 
long  one,  and  reminded  me  alternately  of  the  clattering  shake 
of  the  great  earthquake,  and  the  sweeping  plunging  of  the  Ajax 
in  a  storm. 

And  now  there  can  be  no  fitter  occasion  than  the  present  to 
pronounce  a  left-handed  blessing  upon  the  man  who  invented 
the  American  saddle.    There  is  no  seat  to  speak  of  about  it — 



one  might  as  well  sit  in  a  sljiovel — and  the  stirrups  are  nothing 
but  an  ornamental  nuisance.  If  I  were  to  write  down  here  all 
the  abuse  I  expended  on  those  stirrups,  it  would  make  a  large 
book,  even  without  pictures.  Sometimes  I  got  one  foot  so  far 
through,  that  the  stirrup  partook  of  the  nature  of  an  anklet ; 
sometimes  both  feet  were  through,  and  I  was  handcuffed  by 
the  legs ;  and  sometimes  my  feet  got  clear  out  and  left  the  stir- 
rups wildly  dangling  about  my  shins.  Even  when  I  was  in  • 
proper  position  and  carefully  balanced  upon  the  balls  of  my 
feet,  there  was  no  comfort  in  it,  on  account  of  my  nervous 
dread  that  they  were  going  to.  slip  one  way  or  the  other  in  a 
moment.     But  the  subject  is  too  exasperating  to  write  about. 

A  mile  and  a  half  from  town,  I  came  to  a  grove  of  tall  cocoa- 
nut  trees,  with  clean,  branchless  stems  reaching  straight  up 
sixty  or  seventy  feet  and  topped  with  a  spray  of  green  foliage 
clusters  of  co- 
not  more  pic- 
than  a  forest 
of  coUossal 
ragged  para- 
sols,  with 
bunches  of 
grapes  under 

them,  would  a  pamilt  likbnbss 

be.  I  once  heard  a  grouty  northern  invalid  say  that  a  cocoa- 
nut  tree  might  be  poetical,  possibly  it  was;  but  it  looked  like 
a  feather-duster  struck  by  lightning.  I  think  that  describes 
it  better  than  a  picture — and  yet,  without  any  question,  there 
is  something  fascinating  about  a  cocoa-nut  tree — rand  graceful, 

About  a.  dozen  cottages,  some  frame  and  the  others  of  native 
grass,  nestled  sleepily  in  the  shade  here  and  there.  The  grass 
cabins  are  of  a  grayish  color,  are  shaped  much  like  our  own 
cottages,  only  with  higher  and  steeper  roofs  usually,  and  are 


made  of  some  kind  of  weed  strongly  bound  together  in  bun-, 
dies.  The  roofs  are  very  thick,  and  so  are  the  walls ;  ithe  lat- 
ter have  square  holes  in  them  for  windows.  At  a  little  distance 
these  cabins  have  a  furry  appearance,  as  if  they  might  be  made 
of  bear  skins.  They  are  very  cool  and  pleasant  inside.  The 
King's  flag  was  flying  from  the  roof  of  one  of  the  cottages, 
and  His  Majesty  was  probably  within.  He  owns  the  whole 
concern  thereabouts,  and  passes  his  time  there  frequently,  on 
sultry  days  "  laying  off."  The  spot  is  called  "  The  King's 

Near  by  is  an  interesting  ruin — the  meagre  remains  of  an 
ancient  heathen  temple — a  place  where  human  sacrifices  were 
offered  up  in  those  old  bygone  days  when  the  simple  child  of 
nature,  yielding  momentarily  to  sin  when  sorely  tempted, 
acknowledged  his  error  when  calm  reflection  had  shown  it  him, 
and  came  forward  with  noble  frankness  and  offered  up  his 
grandmother  as  an  atoning  sacrifice— in  those  old  .days  when 
the  luckless  sinner  could  keep  on  cleansing  his  conscience  and 
achieving  periodical  happiness  as  long  as  his  relations  held  out ; 
long,  long  before  the  missionaries  braved  a  thousand  privations 
to  come  and  make  them  permanently  miserable  by  telling  them 
how  beautiful  and  how  blissful  a  place  heaven  is,  and  how 
nearly  impossible  it  is  to  get  there ;  and  showed  the  poor  native 
how  dreary  a  place  perdition  is  and  what  unnecessarily  liberal 
facilities  there  are  for  going  to  it;  showed  him  how,  in  his 
ignorance  he  had  gone  and  fooled  away  all  his  kinfolks  to  no 
purpose ;  showed^  him  what  rapture  it  is  to  work  all  day  long 
for  fifty  cents  to  l?liy  food  for  next  day  with,  as  compared  with 
fishing  for  pastime  and  lolling  in  the  shade  through  eternal 
Summerj  and  eating  of  the  bounty  that  nobody  labored  to  pro- 
vide but  Nature.  How  sad  it  is  to  think  of  the  multitudes 
who  have  gone  to  their  graves  in  this  beautiful  island  and  never 
knew  there  was  a  hell ! 

This  ancient  temple  was  built  of  rough  blocks. of  lava,  and 
was  simply  a  roofless  inclosure  a  hundred  and  thirty  feet  long 
and  seventy  wide — nothing  but  naked  walls,  very  thick,  but 
not  much  higher  than  a  man's  head.  They  will  last  for  ages 
no  doubt,  if  left  unmolested.    Its  three  altars  and  other  sacred 


appurtenances  have  crumbled  and  passed  away  years  ago-  It 
is  said  that  in  the  old  times  thousands  of  human  beings  were 
slaughtered  here,  in  the  presence  of  naked  and  howling  savages. 
If  these  mute  stones  could  speak,  what  tales  they  could  tell, 
what  pictures  they  could  describe,  of  fettered  victims  writhing 
under  the  knife  ;  of  massed  forms  straining  forward  out  of  the 
gloom,  with  ferocious  faces  lit  up  by  the  sacrificial  fires ;  of  the 
background  of  ghostly  trees ;  of  the  dark  pyramid  of  Diamond 
Head  standing  sentinel  over  the  uncanny  scene,  and  the  peace- 
ful moon  looking  down  upon  it  through  rifts  in  the  cloud-rack  ! 

When  Kamehameha  (pronounced  Ka-may-ha-may-ah)  the 
Great — ^who  was  a  sort  of  a  Napoleon  in  military  genius  and 
uniform  success — invaded  this  island  of  Oahu  three  quarters 
of  a  century  ago,  and  exterminated  the  army  sent  to  oppose 
,  him,  and  took  full  and  final  possession  of  the  country,  he  search- 
ed out  the  deiad  body  of  the  King  of  Oahu,  and  those  of  the 
principal  chiefs,  and  impaled  their  heads  on  the  walls  of  this 

Those  were  savage  times  when  this  old  slaughter-house  was 
in  its  prime.  The  King  and  the  chiefs  ruled  the  common  herd 
with  a  rod  of  iron ;  made  them  gather  all  the  provisions  the 
masters  needed ;  build  all  the  houses  and  temples ;  stand  all 
the  expenses,  of  whatever  kind ;  take  kicks  and  cuffs  for  thanks ; 
drag  out  lives  well  flavored  with  misery,  and  then  suffer  death 
for-  trifling  offences  or  yield  up  their  lives  on  the  sacrificial  altars 
to  purchase  favors  from  the  gods  for  their  hard  rulers.  The 
missionaries  have  clothed  them,  educated  them,  broken  up  the 
tyrannous  authority  of  their  chiefs,  and  given  them  freedom 
and  the  right  to  enjoy  whatever  their  hands  and  brains  produce 
with  equal  laws  for  all,  and  punishment  for  all  alike  who  trans- 
gress them.  The  contrast  is  so  strong — the  benefit  conferred 
upon  this  people  by  the  missionaries  is  so  prominent,  so  palpar 
ble  and  so  unquestionable,  that  the  frankest  compliment  I  can 
pay  them,  and  the  best,  is  simply  to  point  to  the  condition  of 
the  Sandwich  Islanders  of  Captain  Cook's  time,  and  their  con- 
dition to-day.     Their  work  speaks  for  itself. 


BY  and  by,  after  a  rugged  climb,  we  halted  on  the  summit 
of  a  hill  which  commanded  a  far-reaching  view.  The 
moon  rose  and  flooded  mountain  and  valley  and  ocean  with 
a  mellow  radiance,  and  out  of  the  shadows  of  the  foliage  the 
distant  lights  of  Honolulu  glinted  like  an  encampment  of  ftre- 
flies.  The  air  was  heavy  with  the  fragrance  of  flowers.  The- 
halt  was  brief. — Gayly  laughing  and  talking,  the  party  galloped 
on,  and  I  clung  to  the  pommel  and  cantered  after.  Presently  we 
came  to  a  place  where  no  grass  grew — a  wide  expanse  of  deep 
sand.  They  said  it  was  an  old  battle  ground.  All  around 
everywhere,  not  three  feet  apart,  the  bleached  bones  of  men 
gleamed  white  in  the  moonlight.  We  picked  up  a  lot  of  them 
for  mementoes.  I  got  quite  a  number  of  arm  bones  and  leg 
bones — of  great  chiefs,  may  be,  who  had  fought  savagely  in  that 
fearful  battle  in  the  old  days,  when  blood  flowedi  like  wine 
where  we  now  stood. — and  wore  the  choicest  of  them:  out  on 
Oahu  afterward,  trying  to  make  him  go.  All  sorts  of  bones 
could  be  found  except  skulls ;  but  a  citizen  saidj  irreverently, 
that  there  had  been  an  unusual  number  of  "  skull-hunters  " 
there  lately — ^a  species  of  sportsmen  I  had,  never  heard  of 

Nothing  whatever  is  known  about  this  place — ^its  story  is  a 
secret  that  wiU  never  be  revealed,.  The;  oldest,  natives r  make 
no  pretense  of  being  possessed  of  its, history^.   They  say,  these 

466  A    FRIGHTFUL    LEAP. 

bones  were  here  when  they  were  children.  They  were  here 
when  their  grandfathers  were  children — ^but  how  they  came 
here,  they  can  only  conjecture.  Many  people  believe  this  spot 
to  be  an  ancient  battle-ground,  and  it  is  usual  to  call  it  so ;  and 
they  believe  that  these  skeletons  have  lain  for  ages  just  where 
their  proprietors  fell  in  the  great  fight.  Other  people  believe 
that  Kamehameha  I.  fought  his  first  battle  here.  On 
this  point,  I  have  heard  a  story,  which  may  have  been  taken 
from  one  of  the  numerous  books  which  have  been  written  con- 
cerning these  islands — I  do  not  know  where  the  narrator  got 
it.  He  said  that  when  Kamehameha  (who  was  at  first  merely 
a  subordinate  chief  on  the  island  of  Hawaii),  landed  here,  he 
brought  a  large  army  with  him,  and  encamped  at  Waikiki. 
The  Oahuans  marched  against  him,  and  so  confident  were  they 
of  success  that  they  readily  acceded  to  a  demand  of  their  priests 
that  they  should  draw  a  line  where  these  bones  now  lie,  and 
;take  an  oath  that,  if  forced  to  retreat  at  all,  they  would  never 
■retreat  beyond  this  boundary.  The  priests  told  them  that 
death  and  everlasting  punishment  would  overtake  any  who 
violated  the  oath,  and  the  march  was  resumed.  Kamehameha 
drove  them  back  step  by  step ;  the  priests  fought  in  the  front 
irank  and  exhorted  them  both  by  voice  and  inspiriting  example 
to  remember  their  oaVh — to  die,  if  need  be,  but  never  cross  the 
fatal  line.  The  struggle  was  manfully  maintained,  but  at  last 
the  chief  priest  fell,  pierced  to  the  heart  with  a  spear,  and  the 
unlucky  omen  fell  like  a  blight  upon  the  brave  souls  at  his 
back ;  with  a  triumphant  shout  the  invaders  pressed  forward — 
the  line  was  crossed — the  oifended  gods  deserted  the  despairing 
army,  and,  accepting  the  doom  their  perjury  had  brought  upon 
them,  they  broke  and  fled  over  the  plain  where  Honolulu  stands 
now — ^up  the  beautiful  Nuuanu  Valley — ^paused  a  moment, 
hemmed  in  by  precipitous  mountains  on  either  hand  and  the 
frightful  precipice  of  the  Pari  in  front,  and  then  were  driven 
over — a  sheer  plunge  of  six  hundred  feet ! 

The  story  is  pretty  enough,  but  Mr.  Jarves'  excellent  history 
says  the  Oahuans  were  intrenched  in  Nuuanu  Valley ;  that 



Kamehameha  ousted  them,  routed  them,  pursued  them  up  the 
valiey  and  drove  them  over  the  precipice.  He  makes  no  meiir 
tion  of  our  bone-yard  at  all  in  his  book. 

Imipresse4  by  the  profound  silence  and  repose  that  rested 
over  the  beautiful  landscape,  and  being,  as  usual,  in  the  rear,  I 
gave  voice  to  my  thoughts.     I  said : 

"What  a  picture  is  here  slumbering  in  the  solemn  glory  of 
the  moon !  How  strong  the  rugged  outlines  of  the  ^ead  vol- 
cano stand  out  against  the  clew  sky  I  "What  a  snowy  fringe 
marks  the  bursting  of  the  surf  over  the  long,  curved  reef  1 
How  calmly  the  dim  city  sleeps  yonder  in  the  plain !  How 
soft  the  shadows  lie  upon  the  stately  mountains  that  border  the 
dream-haunted  Mauoa  Valley !  What  a  grand  pyramid  of  bil- 
lowy clouds  towers  above  the  storied  Pari !  How  the  grim 
warriors  of  the  past  seem  flocking  in  ghostly  squadrons  to  their 
ancient  battlefield  again — ^how  the  wails  of  the  dying  well  up 
from  the " 

At  this  point  the  horse  called  Oahu  sat  down  in  the  sand. 
Sat  down  to  listen,  I 
suppose.  If  ever  mind 
what  he  heard,  I  stop- 
ped apoBtrophi  sing 
and  convinced  him 
that  I  was  not  a  man 
to  allow  contempt  of 
Court  on  the  part  of 
a  horse.  I  broke  the 
back-bone  of  a  Chief 
over  his  rump  and 
set  out  to  join  the 
cavalcade  again. 

Very  Considerably  fagged  out  we  arrived  in  town  at 
9  o'clock  at  night,  myself  in  the  lead— for  when  my  horse 
finally  came  to  understand  that  he  was  homeward  bound  and 
hadn't  far  to  go,  he  turned  his  attention  strictly  to  business. 

This  is  a  good  time  to  drop  in  a  paragraph  of  information. 



Tliere  is  no  regular  livery  stable  in  Honolulu,  or,  indeed,  in  any 
part  of  the  kingdom  of  Hawaii ;  therefore  unless  you  arc  acquaint- 
ed with  wealthy  residents  (who  all  have  good  horses),  you  must 
hire  animals  of  the  wretchedest  description  from  the  Kanakas. 
(i.  e.  natives.)  Any  horse  you  hire,  even  though  it  be  from  a  white 
man,  is  not  often  of  much  account,  because  it  will  be  brought 
in  for  you  from  some  ranch,  and  has  necessarily  been  leading 
a  hard  life.  If  the  Kanakas  who  have  been  caring  for  him 
(inveterate  riders  they  are)  have  not  ridden  him  half  to  death 
every  day  themselves,  you  can  depend  upon  it  they  have  been 
doing  the  same  thing  by  proxy,  by  clandestinely  hiring  him 
out.  At  least,  so  I  am  informed.  The  result  is,  that  no  horse 
has  a  chance  to  eat,  drink,  rest,  recuperate,  or  look  well  or  feel 
well,  and  so  strangers  go  about  the  Islands  mounted  as  I  was 

In  hiring  a  horse  from  a  Kanaka,  you  must  have  all  your 
eyes  about  you,  because  you  can  rest  satisfied  that  you  are  dealing 
with  a  shrewd  unprincipled  rascal.  You  may  leave  your  door 
open  and  your  trunk  imlocked  as  "long  as  you  please,  and  he 
will  not  meddle  with  your  property ;  he  has  no  important  vices 
and  no  inclination  to  commit  robbery  on  a  large  scale ;  but  if 
he  can  get  ahead  of  you  in  the  horse  business,  he  will  take  a 
genuine  delight  iu  doing  it.  This  trait  is  characteristic  of  horse 
jockeys,  the  world  over,  is  it  not  ?  He  will  overcharge  you  if 
he  can ;  he  will  hire  you  a  fine-looking  horse  at  night  (any- 
body's— may  be  the  King's,  if  the  royal  steed  be  in  conve- 
nient view),  and  bring  you  the  mate  to  my  OaTiu  in  the  morn- 
ing, and  contend  that  it  is  the  same  animal.  If  you  make  trou- 
ble, he  will  get  out  by  saying  it  was  not  himself  who  made 
the  bargain  with  you,  but  his  brother,  "  who  went  out  in  the 
country  this  morning."  They  have  always  got  a  "  brother  "  to 
shift  the  responsibility  upon.  A  victim  said  to  one  of  these  fel- 
lows one  day : 

"  But  I  know  I  hired  the  horse  of  you,  because  I  noticed 
that  scar  on  your  cheek." 



The  reply  was  not  bad:  "Oh,   yes — ^yes-r-my  brother  all 
same — we  twins !" 
A  friend  of  mine,  J.  Smith,  hired  a  horse  yesterday,  the 


Kanaka  warranting  him  to  be  in  excellent  condition.  Smith 
had  a  saddle  and  blanket  of  his  own,  and  he  ordered  the  Kan- 
aka to  put  these  on  the  horse.  The  Kanaka  protested  that  he 
was  perfectly  willing  to  trust  the  gentleman  with  the  saddle 
that  was  already  on  the  animal,  but  Smith  refused  to  use  it. 
The  change  was  made ;.  then  Smith  noticed  that  the  Kanaka 
had  only  changed  the  saddles,  and  had  left  the  original  blanket 
on  the  horse ;  he  said  he  forgot  to  change  the  blankets,  and  so, 




to  cut  the  tother  short,  Smith  mounted  and  rode  away.  The 
horse  went  lame  a  mile  from  town,  and  afterward  got  to  cutting 
up  some  extraordinary  capers.  SmitJi  got  down  and  took  off 
the  saddle,  but  the  blanket  stuck  fast  to  the  horse — ^glued  to  a 

^  procession    of   raw    places. 

^>.&  *.  -  s  v^sf^       The    Kanaka's    mysterious 

conduct  stood  explained. 

Another  friend  of  mine 
bought  a  pretty  good  horse 
from  a  native,  a  day  or  two 
ago,  after  a  tolerably  thor- 
ough examination  of  the 
animal.  He  discovered  to- 
day that  the  horse  was  as 
blind  as  a  bat,  in  one  eye. 
He  meant  to  have  examined 
that  eye,  and  came  home 
with  a  general  notion  that  he  had  done  it ;  but  he  remem- 
bers now  that  every  time  he  maHe  the  attempt  his  attention 
was  called  to  something  else  by  his  victimizer. 

One  more  instance,  and  then  I  will  pass  to  something  else. 
I  am  informed  that  when  a  certain  Mr.  L.,  a  visiting  stranger,  was 
here,  he  bought  a  pair  of  very  respectable-looking  match  horses 
from  a  native.  They  were  in  a  little  stable  with  a  partition 
through  the  middle  of  it — one  iiorse  in  each  apartment.  Mr. 
L.  examined  one  of  them  critically  through  a  window  (the 
Kanaka's  "  brother  "  having  gone  to  the  country  with  the  key), 
and  then  went  around  the  house  and  examined  the  other  through 
a  window  on  the  other  side.  He  said  it  was  the  neatest  match 
he  had  ever  seen,  and  paid  for  the  horses  on  the  spot.  "Where- 
upon the  Kanaka  departed  to  join  his  brother  in  the  country. 
The  fellow  had  shamefully  swindled  L.  There  was  only  one 
"  match  "  horse,  and  he  had  examined  his  starboard  side  through 
one  window  and  his  port  side  through  another !  I  decline  to 
believe  this  story,  but  I  give  it  because  it  is  worth  something 
as  a  fanciful  illustration  of  a  fixed  fact — ^namely,  that  the  Kan- 



aka  horse-jockey  is  fertile  in  invention  and  elastic  in  conscience. 
You  can  buy  a  pretty  good  horse  for  forty  or  fifty  dollars, 
and  a  good  enough  horse  for  all  practical  purposes  for  two  dol- 
lars and  a  half.  I  estimate  "  Oahu"  to  be  worth  somewhere  in 
the  neighborhood  of  thirty-five  cents.  A  good  deal  better  animal 
than  he  is  was  sold  here  day  before  yesterday  for  a  dollar  and  sev- 
enty-five cents,  and  sold  again  to-day  for  two  dollars  and  twen^ty- 
five  cents ;  Williams  bought  a  handsome  and  lively  little  pony  yes- 
terday for  ten  dollars ;  and  about  the  best  common  horse  on  the 
island  (and  he  is  a  really  good  one)  gold  yesterday,  with  Mexican 
saddle  and  bridle,  for  seventy  dollars — a  horse  which  is  well  and 
widely  known,  and  greatly  respected  for  his  speed,  good  disposi- 


tion  and  everlasting  bottom.  You  give  your  horse  a  little  grain 
once  a  day ;  it  comes  from  San  Francisco,  and  is  'worth  about 
two  cents  a  pound ;  and  you  give  him  as  much  hay  as  he  wants ;  it 
is  cut  and  brought  to  the  market  by  natives,  aqd  is  not  very  good 
it  is  baled  into  long,  round  bundles,  about  the  size  of  a  large 


man ;  one  of  them  is  stuck  by  the  middle  on  each  end  of  a  sij^r 
foot  pole,  and  the  Kanaka  shoulders  the  pole  and  walks  about 
the  streets  between  the  upright  bales  in  search  of  customers. 
These  hay  bales,  thus  carried,  have  a  general  resemblance  to  a 
colossal  capital  H. 

The  hay-bundles  cost  twenty-five  cents  apiece,  and  one  will 
last  a  horse  about  a  day.  You  can  get  a  horse  for  a  song,  a 
week's  hay  for  another  song,  and  you  can  turn  your  animal  loose 
among  the  luxuriant  grass  in  your  neighbor's  broad  front  yard 
without  a  song  at  all — ^you  do  it  at  midnight,  and  stable  the 
beast  again  before  morning.  You  have  been  at  no  expense  thus 
far,  but  when  you  come  to  buy  a  saddle  and  bridle  they  will  cost 
you  from  twenty  to  thirty-five  dollars.  You  can  hire  a  horse 
saddle  and  bridle  at  from  seven  to  ten  dollars  a  week,  and  the 
owner  will  take  care  of  them  at  his  own  expense. 

It  is  time  to  close  this  day's  record — ^bed  time.    As  I  prepare 
for  sleep,  a  rich  voice  rises  out  of  the  still  night,  and,  far  as  this 
ocean  rock  is  toward  the  ends  of  the  earth,  I  recognize  a  famil- 
iar home  air.    But  the  words  seem  somewhat  out  of  joint : 
"  Waikikl  lantoni  oe  Kaa  hooly  hooly  wawhoo." 

Translated,  that  means  "When  we  were  marching  through 


PASSING  through  the  market  place  we  saw  that  feature  of 
Honolulu  under  its  most  favorable  auspices — that  is,  in 
the  full  glory  of  Saturday  afternoon,  which  is  a  festive  day 
with  the  natives.  The  native  girls  by  twos  and  threes  and 
parties  of  a  dozen,  and  sometimes  in  whole  platoons  and  com- 
panies, went  cantering  up  and  down  the  neighboring  streets 
astride  of  fleet  but  homely  horses,  and  with  their  guady  riding 
habits  streaming  like  banners  behind  them.  Such  a  troop  of 
free  and  easy  riders,  in  their  natural  home,  the  saddle,  makes 
a  gay  and  graceful  spectacle.  The  riding  habit  I  speak  of  is 
simply  a  long,  broad  scarf,  like  a  tavern  table  cloth  brilliantly 
colored,  wrapped  around  the  loins  once,  then  apparently  passed 
between  the  limbs  and  each  end  thrown  backward  over  the 
same,  and  floating  and  flapping  behind  on  both  sides  beyond 
the  horse's  tail  like  a  couple  of  fancy  flags  ;  then,  slipping  the 
stirrup-irons  between  her  toes,  the  girl  throws  her  shest  for 
ward,  sits  up  like  a  Major  General  and  goes  sweeping  by  like 
the  wind. 

The  girls  put  on  aU  the  finery  they  can  on  Saturday  afternoon 
— fine  black  silk  robes ;  flowing  red  ones  that  nearly  put  your 
eyes  out ;  others  as  white  as  snow ;  still  others  that  discount 
the  rainbbw;  and  they  wear  their  hair  in  nets,  and  trim  their 
jaunty  hats  with  fresh  flowers,  and  encircle  their  dusky  throats 
with  home-made  necklaces  of  the  brilliant  vermillion-tinted 
blossom  of  the  ohia ;  and  they  fill  the  markets  and  the  adjacent 
streets  with  their  bright  presences,  and  smell  like  a  rag  factory 
on  fire  with  their  offensive  cocoanut  oil. 



Occasionally  you  see  a  heathen  from  the  sunny  isles  away 
down  in  the  South  Seas,  with  his  face  and  neck  tatooed  till  he 
looks  like  the  customary  mendicant  from  Washoe  who  has  be^n 
blown  up  in  a  mine.  Some  are  tattooed  a  dead  blue  color  down 
to  the  upper  lip — masked,  as  it  were — ^leaving^he  natural  light 
yellow  skin  of  Micronesia  unstained  from  thence  down ;  some 
with  broad  marks  drawn  down  from  hair  to  neck,  on  both  sides 
of  the  face,  and  a  strip  of  the  original  yellow  skin,  two  inches 


wide,  down  the  center — a  gridiron  with  a  spoke  broken  out ; 
and  some  with  the  entire  face  discolored  with  the  popular 
mortification  tint,  relieved  only  by  one  or  two  thin,  wavj 
threads  of  natural  yellow  running  across  the  face  from  ear  to 
ear,  and  eyes  twinkling  out  of  this  darkness,  from  under  shad- 
owing  hat-brims,  like  stars  in  the  dark  of  the  moon. 

Moving  among  the  stirring  crowds,  you  come  to  the  poi 
merchants,  squatting  in  the  shade  on  their  hams,  in  true  native 
fashion,  and  surrounded  by  purchasers.    (The  Sandwich  Island- 



ers  always  squat  on  their  hams,  and  who  knows  but  they  may 
be  the  old  original  "  ham  sandwiches  ?"  The  thought  is  preg- 
nant with  interest)  The  poi  looks  like  common  flour  paste, 
and  is  kept  in  large  bowls  form- 
ed of  a  species  of  gourd,  and 
capable  of  holding  from  one  to 
three  or  four  gallons.  Poi  is 
the  chief  article  of  food  among 
the  natives,  and  is  prepared 
from  the  ta/ro  plant.  The  taro 
root  looks  like  a  thick,  or,  if  you 
please,  a  corpulent  sweet  potato, 
in  shape,  but  is  of  a  light  purple 
color  when  boiled.  When  boil- 
ed it  answers  as  a  passable  sub- 
stitute for  bread.  The  buck 
Kanakas  bake  it  under  ground, 
then  mash  it  up  well  with  a 
heavy  lava  pestle,  mix  water 
with  it  until  it  becomes  a  paste,  set  it  aside  and  let  it  ferment, 
and  then  it  is  poi — and  an  unseductive  mixture  it  is,  almost 
tasteless  before  it  ferments  and  too  sour  for  a  luxury  afterward. 
But  nothing  is  more  nutritious.  When  solely  used,  however, 
it  produces  acrid  humors,  a  fact  which  sufficiently  accounts  for 
the  humorous  character  of  the  Kanakas.  I  think  there  must 
be  as  much  of  a  knack  in  handling  poi  as  there  is  in  eating 
with  chopsticks.  The  forefinger  is  thrust  into  the  mess  and 
stirred  quickly  round  several  times  and  drawn  as  quickly  out, 
thickly  coated,  just  as  if  it  were  poulticed ;  the  head  is  thrown 
back,  th^nger  inserted  in  the  mouth  and  the  delicacy  stripped 
off  and  swallowed — the  eye  closing  gently,  meanwhile,  in  a 
languid  sort  of  ecstasy.  Many  a  different  finger  goes  into  the 
same  bowl  and  many  a  different  kind  of  dirt  and  shade  and 
quality  of  flavor  is  added  to  the  virtues  of  its  contents. 

Around  a  small  shanty  was  collected  a  crowd  of  natives  buy- 
ing the  oAJoa  root.  It  is  said  that  but  for  the  use  of  this  root 
the  destruction  of  the  people  in  former  times  by  certain  imported 


476  GRAND    GALA    DAT. 

diseases  would  have  been  far  greater  than  it  was,  and  by  others 
it  is  said  that  this  is  merely  a  fancy.  All  agree  that  poi  will  re- 
juvenate a  man  who  is  used  up  and  his  vitality  almost  annUiilated 
by  hard  drinking,  and  that  in  some  kinds  of  diseases  it  will 
restore  health  after  all  medicines  have  failed ;  but  all  are  not 
willing  to  allow  to  the  ama  the  virtues  claimed  for  it.  The 
natives  manufacture  an  intoxicating  drink  from  it  which  is  fear- 
ful in  its  effects  when  persistently  indulged  in.  It  covers  the 
body  with  dry,  white  scales,  inilames  the  eyes,  and  causes  pre- 
mature decrepitude.  Although  the  man  before  whose  estab- 
lishment we  stopped  has  to  pay  a  Government  license  of  eight 
hundred  dollars  a  year  for  the  exclusive  right  to  sell  awa  root, 
it  is  said  that  he  makes  a  small  fortune  every  twelve-month ; 
while  saloon  keepers,  who  pay  a  thousand  dollars  a  year  for  the 
privilege  of  retailing  whiskey,  etc.,  only  make  a  bare  living. 

We  found  the  fish  market  crowded ;  for  the  native  is  very  fond 
of  fish,  and  eats  the  aHicle  raw  and  alive  !  Let  us  change  the 

In  old  times  here  Saturday  was  a  grand  gala  day  indeed. 
All  the  native  population  of  the  town  forsook  their  labors,  and 
those  of  the  surrounding  country  journeyed  to  the  city.  Then 
the  white  folks  had  to  stay  indoors,  for  every  street  was  so 
packed  with  charging  cavaliers  and  cavalieresSfes  that  it  was 
next  to  impossible  to  thread  one's  way  through  the  cavalcades 
without  getting  crippled. 

At  night  they  feasted  and  the  girls  danced  the  lascivious  hu- 
la hula — a  dance  that  is  said  to  exhibit  the  very  perfection  of 
educated  motion  of  limb  and  arm,  hand,  head  and  body,  and 
the  exactest  uniformity  of  movement  and  accuracy  of  "  time." 
It  was  performed  by  a  circle  of  girls  with  no  raiment  on  them 
to  speak  of,  who  went  through  an  infinite  variety  of  motions 
and  figures  without  prompting,  and  yet  so  true  was  their  "  time," 
and  in  such  perfect  concert  did  they  move  that  when  they  were 
placed  in  a  straight  line,  hands,  arms,  bodies,  limbs  and  heads 
waved,  swayed,  gesticulated,  bowed,  stooped,  whirled,  squirmed, 
twisted  and  undulated  as  if  they  were  part  and  parcel  of  a  single 
individual ;  and  it  was  difficult  to  believe  they  were  not  moved 
in  a  body  by  some  exquisite  piece -of  mechanism. 


Of  late  years,  however,  Saturday  has  lost  most  of  its  quondam, 
gala  features.  This  weekly  stampede  of  the  natives  interfered 
too  much  with  labor  and  the  interests  of  the  white  folks,  and 
by  sticking  in  a  law  here,  and  preaching  a  sermon  there,  and 
by  various  other  means,  they  gradually  broke  it  up.  The  de- 
moralizing hula  hula  was  forbidden  to  be  performed,  save  at 
night,  with  closed  doors,  in  presence  of  few  spectators,  and  only 
by  permission  duly  procured  from  the  authorities  and  the  pay. 
ment  of  ten  dollars  for  the  same.  There  are  few  girls  now-a- 
days  able  to  dance  this  ancient  national  dance  in  the  highest 
perfection  of  the  art. 

The  missionaries  have  christianized  and  educated  all  the  na- 
tives. They  aU  belong  to  the  Church,  and  there  is  not  one  of 
them,  above  the  age  of  eight  years,  but  can  read  and  write 
with  facility  in  the  native  tongue.  It  is  the  most  universally 
educated  race  of  people  outside  of  China.  They  have  any 
quantity  of  books,  printed  in  the  Kanaka  language,  and  all  the 
natives  are  fond  of  reading.  They  are  inveterate  church-goers 
— ^nothing  can  keep  them  away.  All  this  ameliorating  culti- 
vation has  at  last  built  up  in  the  native  women  a  profound 
respect  for  chastity — in  other  people.  Perhaps  that  is  enough 
to  say  on  that  head.  The  national  sin  will  die  out  when  the 
race  does,  but  perhaps  not  earlier. — But  doubtless  this  purifying 
is  not  far  off,  when  we  reflect  that  contact  wit